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It's not very uncommon to find the sentences like:

It looks like your teacher might have made a little of a mistake.

It was the last I ever saw of him.

Let go of an opportunity.

I've kicked enough of these guys' butts.

It was an end befitting of a Shinobi.

He robbed me of my childhood.

I believe that these sentences still make sense if we don't place of in them. What is the use of of in these?

Edit: Source of 1st in the best answer

For the last one: Source for the fifth one

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  • Did you write these sentences yourself? – Man_From_India Sep 25 '16 at 4:22
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    The first and the last seem incorrect. And I think you haven't copied the second carefully. – Man_From_India Sep 25 '16 at 4:30
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    Some of are the one that appears in Partitive Constructions. Others are idiomatic expressions. – Man_From_India Sep 25 '16 at 4:34
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    I can't see any way to interpret this question as 'proofreading'. – snailplane Sep 25 '16 at 5:10
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    @user3169 he is asking because he doesn't know. If he knew the difference, I'm sure he wouldn't have asked it in the first place. This is a grammar question. – Man_From_India Sep 25 '16 at 5:18
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Regarding appropriate usage and correct grammar, I don't think — and the comments support this— that the resources you've taken the sentences from may be called reliable.

At the same time, all the sentences are quite understandable and can be transformed into something more readable. But even leaving them as they are, you can't avoid "of" in every one of them:

  1. It looks like your teacher might have made a little of a mistake.

In this one, the answerer on the Yahoo page might mean to use the expression "to make little of something", meaning "to minimize or belittle something".

2.It was the last I ever saw of him.

"To see of someone" is a set phrase meaning "to meet someone; be in contact with him/her"

  1. Let go of an opportunity.

This really sounds weird since "to let go of something" means "to release, as from one's grip" and it's a set phrase too.

  1. I've kicked enough of these guys' butts.

You can't make do without the preposition of here as it expresses to whom the kicked butts belong.

5.It was an end [of] befitting of a Shinobi.

To me, this sounds even weirder than "let go of an opportunity", but even so, the preposition "of" asks to be inserted for it might indicate the connection between whatever a Shinobi is and being no longer suitable to or proper for someone or something (see the meaning of the verb "befit"). In other words, it might answer the question - not an iota less weird than the sentence itself - *"Whose end of befitting it was?"

6.He robbed me of my childhood.

"To rob someone of something" is a set phrase and it means "to deprive someone of something, not necessarily by theft".

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  • Could we say "let go an opportunity"? What "of" needed there? – Anubhav Singh Sep 25 '16 at 10:52
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    No - as was said, "let go of something/someone" is a set phrase. "Let him go", "let them help you", etc. don't relate to this usage. "Let the opportunity go!" sounds yet weirder to me. – Victor B. Sep 25 '16 at 11:11
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    @AnubhavSingh - Although, there's an idiom "to go to waste", meaning "to fail to be used or taken advantage of". Maybe "Don't let the opportunity go to waste" might work, although I doubt it. If I were to use this expression, I'd sooner collocate it with words standing for food, drinks, or something, maybe even money or talent, that really might be wasted and/or thrown away. "To miss the opportunity" would be much a safer choice. – Victor B. Sep 25 '16 at 13:06
  • I don't agree that befitting requires "of". A quick search in Google Books will show many examples without of: goo.gl/WSjdlc – Lee K-B Sep 28 '16 at 2:52

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