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Let's say you are selling a game character online equipped with 10 pieces of gear. You posted it trying to sell it online. And then a potential buyer messaged you saying: (after checking if the equipped gear is legit)

"Your game character's equipment is not as described, you have stripped off half its gear."

Or

"Your game character's equipment is not as described, you have stripped half of its gear."

Is one of these phrases correct? So that it can be used to convey the meaning of what I am trying to say.

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To strip off, without a following object, is an idiomatic but informal way of saying to take your clothes off or to remove your clothes.

It would normally be interpreted as meaning that you removed all your clothes and were either naked or about to change into something else.

He stripped off on the beach and put on his bathing costume.

In a more formal situation, take off or remove are more appropriate for clothes and remove for other gear or equipment:

In the context you describe, stripped off would be appropriate if you had removed some of the advertised gear or equipment before supplying the product. Likely responses from the buyer might well be:

Your game character's equipment is not as described,

.....half of its gear has been stripped off/removed.
.... it lacks half its clothes/gear
.... it doesn't have half its clothes/gear
.... it's come without half its clothes/gear
.... it's missing half its clothes/gear.
.... it's short of half its clothes/gear

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    In the context of an online game, "gear" is not a synonym of "clothes" - it includes weapons and other artifacts. If I were correcting the OP's post, I'd choose something like, "Your game character's equipment is not as described, you have stripped it of half its gear." – Canadian Yankee Jan 5 at 16:19
  • @CanadianYankee True. I'll amend my answer according. Have also marked up your answer which I see was marked down for reasons I don't understand – Ronald Sole Jan 5 at 17:09
  • In some games, gear means 'armor' specifically. I always expect it to include non-armor equippable items, but sometimes people don't mean it that way and we briefly fail to communicate. – snailboat Jan 6 at 4:52
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You're not getting the verb "to strip" quite right. The idiom you need is strip...of - that is "to strip [someone] of [something]," which means "to remove, take, or steal something from someone or something, especially in a forceful or brutish manner."

Using the strip...of idiom would give you this:

Your game character's equipment is not as described, you have stripped it of half its gear.

This would mean that the seller has removed half the character's gear after snapshotting the stats for the purposes of advertising the sale, but before completing the transfer to the buyer.

  • You know about games. However, how come "stripped of it" becomes an idiom? It's sounds more like just a phrase... I'm also figuring out how to use it in a sentence since it's a bit weird to an ear of a non-native Engish speaker. – John Arvin Jan 5 at 17:26
  • The phrase strip...of can be used for intangible things: "The military court stripped the officer of his rank," or of tangible things: "the suspect was stripped of all weapons and contraband upon arrest." I think the reason it's often classified as an idiom rather than just a phrase is that the idiom carries the implicit meaning that the action is highly negative. – Canadian Yankee Jan 5 at 17:40
  • Oh is there an error in your very last answer? The format goes: be stripped [something] of... but now, in your example "the suspect was stripped of [all weapons] and contraband upon arrest". This is now mixed up, sry man, just comfirming the accuracy here since this an English learning website. – John Arvin Jan 5 at 21:06
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    My last example was in the passive voice, which might have been a bit confusing. In the active voice, the same idea would be "The police stripped the suspect of all weapons and contraband upon arrest." When you go to the passive voice, the subject (the police) is deleted and the object (the suspect) moves into the subject position followed by a form of the verb to be (was). – Canadian Yankee Jan 5 at 23:48
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Intransitive to strip off usually means remove [all of] one's clothes, but when strip is used transitively (with the "object" being either some outer covering being removed, or the thing that covered is removed from), off is often effectively an optional preposition...

1: He used a scraper to strip off the old paint from the wall
2: He used a scraper to strip the old paint from the wall
3: He used a scraper to strip the old paint off the wall

...where all the above are perfectly valid ways of saying the same thing (note that in #1, of primarily couples with strip, but in #3 it couples with the wall as an alternative to from).


But - suppose I wanted to say only half the paint was removed? In that context we also have to note that of is effectively an optional preposition in half of the paint. Arguably this is somewhat unfortunate for learners, but all the examples below are also perfectly valid...

4: He used a scraper to strip off half the old paint from the wall
5: He used a scraper to strip half the old paint from the wall
6: He used a scraper to strip half the old paint off the wall
7: He used a scraper to strip off half of the old paint from the wall
8: He used a scraper to strip half of the old paint from the wall
9: He used a scraper to strip half of the old paint off the wall

Technically speaking,...

10: He used a scraper to strip off half of the old paint off the wall

...is also "more or less" valid. But it's very clumsy, so people would rarely use that one.


In short, both of OP's possibilities are valid, as are You have stripped off half of its gear (both prepositions) AND ...stripped half its gear (neither preposition).

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