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Could anyone tell me whether the usage of "to drop off" is correct?

Situation: You are carrying your baby in a baby carrier, but you want to put your baby on a baby chair for some reason. Can you say:

I dropped off my baby on a baby chair.

Also, is it possible to say:

I dropped off my baby from a baby carrier.

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No. 'Dropping off' carries the sense of taking someone or something to a location and leaving them there. For example:

I dropped my baby off at kindergarten.

You would use put for your example:

I put my baby in a baby chair.

You could also use sat in the past tense verb sense:

I sat my baby in a baby chair.

There are various other words you could use such as placed, but put would be the most natural.

  • Hmm, but it could make sense in the right context. Like, "I was carrying the baby around the house. But I needed my hands free to do X, so I dropped the baby off in a baby chair and then ..." Unlikely that a fluent speaker would say it that way, I suppose, but possible. – Jay Nov 29 '16 at 14:53
  • Thank you, I think I'll stick to "put" to mean what I want to mean! – George Nov 29 '16 at 21:53
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No, to drop off isn't used in the way you've used it in your question.

Consider this dictionary definition:

drop
Verb
5 Set down or unload (a passenger or goods), especially on the way to somewhere else:

"he dropped the load off at a dealer's"
"his mum dropped him outside and drove off to work"

You can see from this definition's examples that off isn't strictly needed (although it is common to use it). You might drop your baby off at nursery, or at the baby's grandparents' house. It's probably best to avoid using just "dropped" with a baby, as it might sound like you literally dropped the baby.

I would interpret your two sentences as follows:

  1. Your first sentence sounds like you were travelling somewhere, and on the way to that place you stopped on a baby chair to allow your baby to disembark.

  2. Your second sentence sounds like you were travelling somewhere with a baby carrier, and you took your baby out of the carrier and then continued travelling (without the baby but still with the carrier).

You might instead use one of these sentences:

I put my baby in a baby chair.
I put my baby in his/her baby chair.

I sat my baby in a baby chair.
I sat my baby in his/her baby chair.

I took my baby out of a baby carrier.
I took my baby out of his/her baby carrier.

Or, for a sentence more specific to the situation you've given:

I moved my baby from his/her carrier to his/her chair.

I took my baby out of his/her carrier and put him/her in his/her chair.

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