I was reading a piece of Mr Clinton's speech to back Mr Obama's politics up and I came across this sentence:
“Is the president satisfied? Of course not, but are we better off than we were when he took office?” Mr. Clinton said, pausing as the crowd roared in approval. He added, “The answer is yes.”
I cannot get the meaning of this "off". Can you explain it, please?
It is the comparative form of "well off" (compound adjective) which usually refers to money ("well off" = rich) but can be used more metaphorically.
When used to refer to money:
- I am well off.
- My brother is better off.
- Our sister is the most well off of the three of us. (Some people use "best off" instead of "most well off").
As I said, it doesn't have to refer to money. I don't know if Mr Clinton meant that the American population is better off financially than when Obama took office, or perhaps he meant emotionally or in stability terms.
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
The implication of this question is financial. Every 4 years someone brings up the subject. "Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?" neatly encapsulates the question of the state of the economy and the effectiveness of the current president's policies.