What dictionary was that?
Student or Learner
I looked up the words "pass", "pass on", and "pass off" in the dictionary. It seems that "pass on" is used in the context of "die", while "pass off" is used for many meanings including the context of "transfer" or "circulate".
However, I heard someone using "pass on" as "move on" or "proceed" or even as "transfer" or "circulate". I read in a book the words "pass off" in the context of "transfer from one place to another".
It is confusing for me when I see a discrepancy between what is being said and what is actually stated in a dictionary.
I would like to know whether the usage of "pass on" is really correct only in the context of "die", and other meanings of "pass on" are just slang.
If I want to write a formal letter reading that I want to transfer my book to my friend, should I write "I will pass my book off to my friend" or "I will pass my book to my friend" or "I will pass my book on to my friend"? Sometimes, I think that I have to get rid of both "off" and "on" and either use the word "pass" alone, or use another verb such as "transfer".
What dictionary was that?
'Pass on' is quite properly used in other contexts than 'die'. Use it freely without fear.
'When I have read this book I will pass it on to a friend.'
'I just heard Thelma's pregnant. Pass it on.'
'He asked me out for a drink but I decided to pass on that.'
"Pass off" also has a meaning of deception.
pass off as - Idioms - by the Free Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
Sometimes, I think that I have to get rid of both "off" and "on" and either use the word "pass" alone, or use another verb such as "transfer".
"When you've had a look at the book would you please pass it to John" usually means that John is close by, for example in the same room, at the same table or sitting/standing nearby.
"When you've had a look at the book could you please pass it on to John" often assumes that you will give the book to John in another place at another time.
"Sure, I'm seeing John for coffee tomorrow so I'll give it to him then".
However, a teacher might give a book to a member of the class and say "Have a quick look at this book and pass it on", meaning that the book will be passed around the room to each student.
not a teacher
I would not use "When you have read this book, pass it off to John". If I heard that, I would assume it was an error on the part of the speaker and that they meant to say "pass it on".
Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.
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