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What is the correct preposition for the following sentence?

Fill the glass with water to about 5 cm .....top.

Is it "off " , "off of" or something different ?

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From the.

If you're saying the glass should be filled until there is only 5 cm of space remaining in the top, you want to say:

Fill the glass with water to about 5 cm from the top.

This is a standard usage of distance...

I am about five feet from the wall.
She walked until she was two miles from the office.

With distance, from is usually a good bet.

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  • Thank you. For my example I was wondering if the words "down", "below" or "low" can be correct to use? – Mrt Feb 9 '17 at 20:39
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    Not low. Down could work in conjunction with "from the". Below would work, too, but "below the top" sounds odd to me; "below the lip/rim" sounds better. – Catija Feb 9 '17 at 20:42
  • I'm not sure, but "off the top" might be a substitute for "from the top" in British English. Note in the US, we might tell a barber, "Take a half inch off the top." The phrase is not unheard of, but "from the top" definitely sounds better in regards to a glass. – RichF Feb 9 '17 at 21:16
  • @RichF I can't say that I've heard anyone use "off the top" other than for a trip to the barber. That may be the case as it relates to BrE. The OP doesn't specify what variety of English they're using. – Catija Feb 9 '17 at 21:19
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    @RichF In my (Southeastern US) experience, "take an inch off the top" said to the barber means "remove an inch of hair from the top of my head" (top of the head being in contrast to the sides or back). It doesn't describe a distance from the top of my head. – Deolater Feb 9 '17 at 22:44

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