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  1. beachboy's Avatar
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      • Native Language:
      • Portuguese
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      • Brazil
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    • Join Date: Jan 2008
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    #1

    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?


    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 167
    #2

    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.

  2. Offroad's Avatar
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    • Join Date: Feb 2008
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    #3

    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.

  3. beachboy's Avatar
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      • Portuguese
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    #4

    Re: start off

    OMG, Iīm so sorry to know about Anglikaīs death. She helped me many times here in the last three years, but hadnīt read posts from her for a while. As you said, may she rest in peace.

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