Can I say 'someone is lying not on but off the couch.'

Grammatically not + preposition + but + preposition + object is possible?

  • 1
    Grammatically, it's fine, though 'not on but under' might be a better example. We would say they were lying 'on the floor' rather than 'off the couch'. Jan 14, 2021 at 10:01
  • or "beside the couch", if they were on the floor next to it.
    – Stuart F
    Nov 21, 2022 at 11:38

1 Answer 1


Yes it's grammatically correct, but including the couch in the statement doesn't seem to bring much benefit. If your intent is to say they're near the couch but not on it, then I would suggest "not on but near the couch", or just "on the floor near the couch.

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