I'd like to know which of the following is correct, and if all are, what the difference is.

John is two weeks out of / from / away from / off the surgery.

I'd appreciate your help.


out of

This use sounds ok, but means that it has been two weeks since the surgery ended. However "the" would have to be deleted for it to sound more natural. A more common way this is said is "John has been out of surgery for two weeks"


This makes sense and would mean that after two more weeks, John will have the surgery

away from

See "from"


This doesn't really make sense. When I hear "John is two weeks off ... ", my mind wants to fill it in with a vice like smoking, alcohol, drugs or with medication.

Being "two weeks off cigarettes" means this person made a concision or forced effort to quit their habit of smoking cigarettes.

  • 1
    I love that we essentially gave the same exact response. – tssmith2425 Jun 14 at 8:52
  • Can "the operation" be used of "surgery"? – Apollyon Jun 14 at 10:39
  • I think you mean “instead of surgery,” and yes it can. :) – tssmith2425 Jun 14 at 12:53

The correct answer is John is two weeks out of surgery. You can also simply say John had the surgery two weeks ago.

  • Two weeks away from surgery implies that he will have surgery in two weeks’ time.

  • Two weeks from/off surgery don’t work, either. To say someone is two weeks off something generally means that for two weeks, they have not been indulging in that thing:

I’m two weeks off dairy/video games/red meat/etc. Something along these lines. Note though that this phrasing isn’t terribly common.

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