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What is the meaning of "off of" please?
E.g., "All of these CPUs come off of the same assembly lines."

How to use it in some examples please?

  • Hi Franky. Yes, it would be better to ask these as four individual questions. It might also be useful to give an example sentence for some of your questions and explain why they are confusing (for example with your off of question). :-) – Araucaria - Not here any more. Dec 3 '16 at 11:34
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Here's a semi-graphical depiction of what the word "off" means conceptually:

          1                       The number 1 is ON the table.
   ===========                    The number 2 is OFF the table.
    ||     ||
    ||     ||        2
""""""""""""""""""""""""""

so you can think of it as "no longer on" or "taken away from".

The word "of", on the other hand, originally meant where something originated (e.g. "of the mountains"), then it's been extrapolated to materials of origin (e.g. "of steel"), authorship (e.g. "the book of Shakespeare"), ownership ("the car of my friend") and many similar… CASES. (Hint hint: it corresponds to the case system in other languages.)

Now let's combine this knowledge to make sense of the sentence you asked about.

"[All of these CPUs] come off [of the same assembly lines]."

Contrary to what @D. Nelson told you in another answer, this is not a "tautologism"! The words "off" and "of" have slightly different meanings in this sentence, and they belong to separate constituent parts, so they cannot just be "merged" into one :P

The word "of" belongs to the prepositional phrase "of the same assembly lines" which describes the ORIGIN of those CPUs: assembly lines. WHERE did they come FROM.

The word "off", on the other hand, comes with the phrasal verb "come off", which says that something can be removed/detached from something else, or fall from, or be taken off (recall the picture with the table). In this case, it describes the situation of those CPUs being originally on the assembly line, but then being taken off and put somewhere else (e.g. in a box).

  • I think D. Nelson is right about 'off of' being tautological, meaning the 'of' is redundant. "All of these CPUs come off the same assembly lines." Removing 'of' doesn't change the meaning of the sentence at all. It seems to me that 'off' as a preposition implicitly contains the 'of'. – Elininja Apr 15 at 17:35
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'Off of' is a tautologism and I personally wouldn't recommend using it. It can always be replaced by a single word, usually either 'off' or 'from'.

For example, your sentence should be: "all of these CPUs come from the same assembly lines".

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