What's the Difference between "Of" and "Off"?

The short answer:

Of shows connection. Off shows disconnection.

Some examples:
  • "I'm the brother of Jeniffer," shows the connection between Jeniffer and myself (we're brother and sister).
  • "Jeniffer ran off," shows disconnection (she left).
Of and Off
  • "A story of hats," shows connection (the story is about hats).
  • "My hat fell off," shows disconnection (my hat is no longer on my head).
Of or Off

The full answer:


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"Of" has many different meanings.
Here are the main ones:

(preposition) =

1) Belonging to or relating to someone or something.

  • That's the house of Joe.
  • Sarah is a good friend of Mary.
  • They are colleagues of mine.
  • He is the son of Beth.
  • We studied the works of William Shakespeare.
  • I'm the head of the company.
  • The color of the wall is white.
  • This is a major part of the problem.
  • What's the name of the movie?
  • She is the Queen of England.
  • The victory of England was unexpected.
  • The love of nature will never disappear.
  • She has a fear of the dark.
2) Used to show an amount.

  • I need a pound of oranges.
  • He ate a handful of nuts.
  • There are a lot of people.
  • All of us are happy to see you.
3) Used to show numbers, dates and ages.

  • We have a girl of five.
  • He predicted an increase of 2.4% in earnings.
  • It was the 1st of May 2001.
4) Containing or consisting of.

  • Please give me a glass of water.
  • He brought a box of goodies.
  • We were stopped by a group of people.
  • A pack of wolves cried in the forest.
  • She wears a dress of silk and a necklace of gold.
4) Used to show a reason.

  • He died of a heart illness.
  • We came of our own desire.
  • There were many changes as a result of the war.
5) About or showing something or someone.

  • This is a story of love and hate.
  • She showed us a picture of her baby.
  • Take a look at the sketch of the house.
6) Used to show which one.

  • The city of New York
    (= The city called New York)
  • The country of France
    (= The country called France)
  • The year of 1956
    (= The year 1956)
  • The problem of finding good workers
    (= The problem that is finding workers)
7) Used to show a characteristic.

  • He is a man of great power.
  • Clara is a woman of great beauty.
  • This is a matter of no importance.
8) Living or coming from a certain place.

  • The people of Spain are called Spaniards.
  • She met with Philip of Spain.
  • Who was Jesus of Nazareth?

The word "off" has a completely different meanings...


"Off" has many different meanings.
Here are the main ones:
Off (adverb) =

1) Not touching something or removed.

  • Try to stay off the grass.
  • His glasses fell off.
  • You can take off your hat.
  • He finally had his mustache shaved off.
  • Don't leave the yogurt with the top off.
  • She took the picture off the wall.
  • Bob kicked off his boots.
2) Away from a place.

  • She ran off without saying goodbye.
  • All the cats ran off as soon as I arrived.
  • You get off at the next station.
3) Not operating or not at work.

  • Turn off your computer.
  • The electricity is off.
  • She had a year off, but now she is back in the office.
  • I need some time off.
  • You had a few days off last week.
3) Canceled.

  • The wedding is off.
  • The deal is off.
  • The competition is off.
4) Near a place.

  • We visited an island off the coast off Italy.
  • Their motel was just off the main road.
5) Far away.

  • I see a tower off in the distance.
  • Jessica is off in Africa.
  • Your birthday is a long way off.
  • The winter is not so far off.
6. Less.

  • The shirts are $5 off, so instead of $12 they cost $7.
  • All apples are %15 off until the end of the day.

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