Prepositions - Off

1. Off indicates movement from one place to another.

Pattern 1: verb + off + noun
The car ran off the road.
We got off the train in New Orleans.

Verbs used with this pattern:
blow, come, dive, drive, fall, get, go, hop, jump, limp, move, roll, run, slide, slip, walk

to be off (adverb)—to leave
It's late, so we must be off.

Pattern 2: verb + noun + off + noun
They shoveled the snow off the driveway.

Verbs used with this pattern:
blow, brush, clean, clear, drive, get, move, pull, push, roll, run, scrape, shove, shovel, slide, slip, sweep, take, wash

2. Off can indicate separation.

Pattern: verb + off + noun
She cut off her beautiful long hair.

Verbs commonly used with this meaning:
break, chop, cut, pick, pull, saw, send, shave, take, tear, throw

3. Off means connected to or not far from.

Pattern: be + off + noun
Our street is off Main Street.

Typical nouns after off:
beach, coast, highway, island, road, street, turnpike

4. Off can indicate behavior that is not as usual or no longer true.

Pattern 1: be/go + off + 0 noun
The children are off school today.
I'm glad your cousin finally went off drugs.

Nouns commonly used with this meaning:
alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, duty, school, work

Pattern 2: be/go + off + one’s + noun
She went off her diet again.

Typical nouns:
diet, medication, medicine, pills

to be off course—to be going (or thinking) in the wrong direction
We got lost, and were off course for about three hours.
They got off course while doing the research, and wasted a lot of time.
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