I have seen some sentences, like these, using prepositions before the time delayed.

They put off the event for five days.

But is it okay to leave out 'for' in both the following cases?

I put the appointment off three days.

I put off the appointment three days.

The 'put something off x days' structure doesn't seem wrong to me, because 'off' seems like a preposition, here.

('Put off something' is right, but I know sometimes "put something off" is used, even though something is not pronoun, so I used both forms.)

3 Answers 3


You should use the appropriate preposition (for).

Depending on where you are, the other constructions may or may not be common or acceptable. They are not where I am from.

  • Please tell us where you're from. (I mean, at least specify if you are talking about the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, etc..)
    – J.R.
    Commented Jul 3, 2016 at 17:32
  • 1
    You don't need the for. It is optional.
    – Lambie
    Commented Jul 4, 2016 at 15:19
  • @J.R. I'm from USA Commented Oct 10, 2021 at 5:34

Both are correct: to put off something for three days and to put something off for three days. Both have the same meaning. Some phrasal verbs work both ways: with the preposition after the verb or with the preposition after a direct object.

To put off something for three days = To put something off for three days. The two ways of saying this are semantically equivalent (mean the same thing).


Certain prepositions must follow certain words, and the correct preposition must be used to make relationships between words in the sentences clear.

Able to Capable of Preoccupied with Concerned by Prohibited from

Prepositions must be followed by nouns, and prepositions can only go on the end of the sentence in certain situations.

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