Could you help me understand the difference in meaning between carry off and carry through? They seem pretty similar to me. In additional resources I've read:

carry off - handle a difficult situation successfully

carry through - complete successfully in spite of difficulty

The result is the same for both of them- something difficult is completed successfully. Can I use them interchangeably?

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    It might be as well to quote the dictionary definitions you are relying on, and what sentences you propose to use them in. "Carry off" connotes success in the face of difficulty, "carry through" connotes continuity of effort. Jul 27, 2020 at 20:48

1 Answer 1


I've mostly heard the first 2 words with "it" in the middle: "He's good, but I don't know if he can carry it off." "She was able to carry it off with alacrity".

I've mostly heard "carry off" in the context of removing something -- "He was playing hard and intended to carry off the prize."

I've heard carry and through both ways -- "I'm going to carry through this if it takes all summer"; "To carry it through, you'll need a lot of energy."

I'm not sure there is much difference to relate without talking about specific intended meanings.

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