I came across the following sentence somewhere.

You will encounter its(=a building) dome, accompanied with a glare of sunlight reflecting off of it from all around the campus and even outside the University borders!

I can't dig the use "reflect" with two prepositions off and of. Can anyone explain what does that mean, and when do we write such sentences?

2 Answers 2


It's a matter of style and good usage. It's generally agreed that of is not necessary after off in such sentences.

Chicago Manual of Style recommends this:

off. Never put of after this word {we got off the bus}.

Cambridge Grammar of the English Language says this:

Off licenses an of phrase only in AmE (%He fell off of the wall).

There's a limited amount of prepositions that select of as head of their complement: because, exclusive, irrespective, abreast, ahead, instead, regardless, upward(s), east, north, south, west, alongside, inside, out, outside. With off it's optional.

She took it out of the box

She pulled it off the shelf.

  • 2
    While not necessary, it's not technically wrong, and the construction is commonly used by (AmEng) native speakers. (Also you have "ii" and "iii" in your prepositions list -- are those numerals? Because "in of", which I first thought was the original typo, is not a usage I've heard of.) Aug 30, 2017 at 19:36
  • Sorry, these are typos :) Aug 30, 2017 at 19:39

Off of X = away from X and started/restarted from X - i.e. something began from or touched X then went away from it.

I went off of 5th street = I went to or was at 5th street then I went away from it

The ball bounced off of the wall = The ball touched the wall then moved away from it.

Reflect, ricochet, and similar words can all use off of.

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