of and off video

Transcript below

These two simple words are often used incorrectly. My students both English and non-English are sometimes tripped up by these two.

Recently, a builder gave me a quote for a job and used them incorrectly in his
written quote! (take of the plaster instead of take off the plaster)
The sound of them is different, and this can help you choose the right one.

of sounds like “ov” with a soft ‘v’ sound. It’s usually very unstressed, quickly pronounced and usually swallowed up by other words and hard to hear listen to these:

“a cupov tea” “the pointov” “a lotov” “afraidov”of.
A cup of tea. out of order. A lot of people.
I’ve got lots of problems. A bunch of flowers. This bag is made of leather.

Some of my friends are vegetarian. Some people are afraid of dogs.
What’s the point of this exercise?
Of course not.
In the middle of …
A shortage of…
A pair of…
A sort of…
The beginning of…
A slice of

off is a stronger sound with a hard ‘f’. on and off

We usually use off with a verb to make phrasal verbs.
verb + off – take off, put off, run off, taking off, ran off, get off (all have different meanings in different situations. Check in a good dictionary or phrasal verb dictionary for all the possible meanings.)
Get off the bus. Take off the plaster. (My builder wrote: Take of plaster)
Turn off. Off and on. Turn off at the next exit.
Switch off the light.
The plane took off on time.
He ran off.
Get off.
Put off.


*CAREFUL. The sound ‘ov’ is like the short form of have ‘ve (have) and many people confuse them and put of instead of ‘ve.
I should’ve = I should have (NOT ‘I should of’)
You would’ve = You would have (NOT ‘You would of’)
I could’ve = I could have (not ‘I could of’)