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  1. #1
    beachboy is offline Key Member
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    start off

    Bad way to start things off!
    Why off? Could I drop the particle without a change in meaning? Are there other particles (in this case) that would convey the same or a similar idea?

  2. #2
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    Re: start off

    For reasons even I haven't been able to wrap my head around, English speakers often prefer phrasal (two- or three-word) verbs to their one-word counterparts. There is absolutely no grammatical reason not to say, "...bad way to start things." It means the same thing, and anyone would understand it. "Start things off," however, just sounds better. I'm sorry that's so vague.

  3. #3
    Offroad's Avatar
    Offroad is offline Key Member
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    Re: start off

    Quote Originally Posted by Heterological View Post
    For reasons even I haven't been able to wrap my head around, English speakers often prefer phrasal (two- or three-word) verbs to their one-word counterparts. There is absolutely no grammatical reason not to say, "...bad way to start things." It means the same thing, and anyone would understand it. "Start things off," however, just sounds better. I'm sorry that's so vague.
    Our dear teacher Anglika, who passed away 2 days ago (May she rest in peace) gave me this explanation:

    What is the difference between 'meet' and 'meet up (with)'?
    meet up contains an intrusive "up". It increasingly contains the implication of a prior arrangement to meet.
    I guess the same happens to 'help out', 'start off' and many others.

  4. #4
    beachboy is offline Key Member
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    Re: start off

    OMG, I´m so sorry to know about Anglika´s death. She helped me many times here in the last three years, but hadn´t read posts from her for a while. As you said, may she rest in peace.

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