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Thread: off

  1. #1
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    off

    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?

  2. #2
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    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: off

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    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?
    See here: better off adjective - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online

  3. #3
    dilodi83 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: off

    Is it an idiomatic use of "better"?
    Would "better" mean the same without being followed by "off"? Or Is "off" used to underline the concept?

  4. #4
    bhaisahab's Avatar
    bhaisahab is offline Moderator
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    Re: off

    Quote Originally Posted by dilodi83 View Post
    Is it an idiomatic use of "better"?
    Would "better" mean the same without being followed by "off"? Or Is "off" used to underline the concept?
    No, "better off" is a compound adjective, you can't separate the two parts.

  5. #5
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Re: off

    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 - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  6. #6
    SoothingDave is online now VIP Member
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    Re: off

    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.

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