Articulate English: ‘Off’ Is The Opposite Of ‘On’

The word ‘on’ can mean “above and touching”. When this is applicable the word ‘off’ should be used as its opposite.

Example: Susan placed the book on the table. Later, she took it off the table.

However, when someone is in possession of something, such as money or keys, we do not take or accept it off that person, but rather from them, as the object that is being removed or accepted is not “above and touching” their person.

Similarly, for example, a victorious team does not win a title off another team, but rather from it.

Tom did not take the football off Barry, but rather from him.

An athlete does not wrest the lead off a fellow competitor, but rather from that person.

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