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    #1

    Grammatical Function of "off"

    Hi,

    I have a question regarding the following exercise:

    Choose the letter which does not have the same grammatical function:

    "They took off their coats and went to the table near the window"

    A. off
    B. to
    C. near

    The answer is A. off.

    I do not understand why. "to" and "near" are prepositions in the sentence above, I believe, but I also thought "off" is a preposition.

    Anyone could help me please?

    Thanks,

    Bluesea

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    #2

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    [Not a Teacher]

    Off is a preposition, but it is also an adverb and an adjective.

    In that sentence, "off" is being used as an adverb by modifying the verb "took".

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    #3

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    I seriously have my doubts that "off" can be an adjective.

    And phrasal verbs can be formed by a verb + preposition, verb + adverb or verb + adverb + preposition.

    Thanks for answering but the explanation given does not convince me.

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    #4

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    In fact, after reading a book called "Practical English Usage" I have the following:

    In the examples: "I ran down the road", "He is in his office" and "something is climbing up my leg", the words down, in and up are prepositions because they have objects (the road, his office and my leg).

    However, in the examples: "Please, sit down", "You can go in" and "She is not up yet", the words down, in and up are adverbs. They have no objects.

    In the example I gave in my original post: "They took off their coats", it looks to me that "off" should be a preposition.

    Bluesea

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    #5

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesea1971 View Post
    n the example I gave in my original post: "They took off their coats", it looks to me that "off" should be a preposition.
    No. In 'They took their coats off the peg', it functions as a preposition. In 'They took off their coats / They took their coats off', it functions as an adverb or, as some prefer, a particle.

    In 'The milk is off (=sour)', it functions as an adjective.

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    #6

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    Thanks, that is quite clear but why in "I ran down the road", is down a preposition (according to the book)?
    Isn't it the same case as "they took off their coats"?

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    #7

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    No. They didn't take their coats off anything, and they didn't take anything off their coats.

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    #8

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    I think it's because prepositions introduce some sort of object (and I'm not sure that is always the case). If you say, "I ran," that is a sentence, but if you want to say that you ran down a road, you need to introduce the road with the preposition "down". In, "I took off my coat" the word "off" is not introducing my coat.

    Honestly, I'm not sure. It just feels like it is modifying the verb opposed to introducing an object. I could probably use a little clarification myself. I'm making an assumption that prepositions always introduce objects, and I not sure of myself on that one.

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    #9

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    Quote Originally Posted by bluesea1971 View Post
    Hi,

    I have a question regarding the following exercise:

    Choose the letter which does not have the same grammatical function:

    "They took off their coats and went to the table near the window"
    To me 'off' functions as part of the phrasal verb "to take off" meaning "to remove".
    "They took off their coats" = "They took their coats off". It's a separable phrasal verb. If it were a preposition you couldn't move it like that.

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    #10

    Re: Grammatical Function of "off"

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    No. They didn't take their coats off anything, and they didn't take anything off their coats.
    Don't they take their coats off of their bodies?

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