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  1. My daughter just moved away to college.

  2. My daughter just moved off to college.

  3. My daughter just moved out to college.

What's the difference between these? Are they all natural?

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  • Forget moved here. Most Anglophones would say My daughter just went to college. Note that for other more specific destinations, we wouldn't normally include any extra preposition anyway: My daughter just moved to London. Commented Jun 10, 2021 at 16:47

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In U.S. English, all have similar meanings, but have slightly different flavors.

moved away

usually would be used to convey that mother and daughter no longer reside together, but further imply that the daughter’s college is not physically close to the mother’s home.

moved out

usually would be used to convey that the daughter no longer resides with her mother, but might add the implication that they are not physically distant.

moved off

is perhaps a bit colloquial, implies little or nothing about physical distance, but may imply some emotional distance.

Ever since she met Tom, my daughter and I have had a stormy relationship, but I hope that will subside now that she has moved off to college.

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My daughter just moved out to college.

I would never say this one. "My daughter just moved out" is a complete thought meaning that my daughter has moved out of the house and is now on her own. There is no destination other than "out."

My daughter just moved away to college.

My daughter just moved off to college.

I have heard both of these and interpret them to mean equally that the daughter is attending college a significant distance from the parents and can only be expected to come home for vacations and laundry. ;-)

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