Do the following two sentences communicate the same piece of information and also can they be used in the same situations interchangeably?

  1. Peter is not on the bridge.

  2. Peter is off the bridge.

EDIT (my current opinion): It seems to that "He is off the bridge." can only be said to express comparison between his location just a while ago.

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


They are not interchangable.

The first seems to be a simple fact about location, it denies that Peter is on a bridge.

The second is more dynamic. It seems to mean that Peter has moved from on to off the bridge, perhaps recently.

The last people are off the bridge, so the demolition can begin.

  • 2
    There are probably multiple meaning of the word "off". If TV is on or off are the complete opposites. With the bridge it is not like that.
    – Jano
    Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 7:04
  • 1
    That's because an electrical device can only be either on or off. A person may be in many places, so you would only say that Peter was 'off the bridge' if he had recently been on it. Commented Mar 2, 2023 at 9:28

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