You already know common phrasal verbs with UP and a few phrasal verbs with AROUND. If you haven’t read those posts yet, please read them now. Here are I have some English phrasal verbs with OFF for you. Most people when looking at such phrasal verbs with OFF will give the more common forms as examples such as:
- break off – to end
- tear off – to rip
- switch off – to turn off something (light, for example)
Therefore I thought I might look at a few less well known phrasal verbs using the preposition OFF with some examples.
Less Well Known Phrasal Verbs with OFF
CUT OFF: Literally to cut off means to take a knife or scissors and cut a piece of meat or cloth or material from an article.
ex. He cut a piece of meat off and gave it to the dog.
However, to be cut off can also have other meanings.
to be cut off – to have no access in or out
ex. Heavy rains caused the river to quickly overflow its banks and 2 local villages have been cut off.
to cut someone off – to prevent someone from receiving something
ex. Joe had an argument with his father. The father threatened to cut him off without a penny unless Joe agrees to do as he requests.
PASS OFF: This usually means to try and pretend (make others believe) that a thing is worth more than it actually is.
ex. Igor was really desperate for money. He had not worked for several months. He was passing the sports shop in the city and saw that they were selling football shirts with a players autograph for crazy (a lot of) money. He went home took his football shirt from the cupboard and practiced signing the players autograph. Then he advertised it on line hoping he could pass it off as the real thing.
CRY OFF: When we cannot attend an event we originally agreed to attend because of a particular reason we often say “sorry, I am going to have to cry off, something important has come up”.
ex. Antonio was really looking forward to the game of tennis. He had arranged to play with Miguel on Saturday. Late on Friday Miguel called to say he had injured his back and would have to cry off from the game of tennis.
MAKE OFF WITH: This is often used to describe a situation where a robbery takes place and the robbers or thieves run away with what ever they had targeted.
ex. The robbers spent 2 days over the weekend tunnelling (digging) under the bank. They got into the safe without much difficulty and took a lot of cash and other valuables with them. The police estimated that they had made off with over $1m. !
HEAD OFF: If we decide to go away for a few days or on a longer holiday we can use this phrasal verb to let people know what we are doing.
ex. I am going to head off for a few days to England.
We can also use it in more general terms to indicate we are going to leave somewhere.
ex. I think I will head off home now I am tired.
Finally, it can also be used to try to block someone from progressing with an idea or a plan.
ex. “I do not like the boss’s idea to expand the business so quickly” – says Peter. “Don’t worry” – his colleague says. “I will talk to him tomorrow and try to head him off (change his mind) before he goes too far”.
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As you probably already know, phrasal verbs are mostly used in spoken English. One of the ways to improve your speaking skills in English is to learn commonly used phrasal verbs. Unfortunately, there are no tips to learn phrasal verbs easily. However, I hope some of my other posts will make learning a little bit easier for you.
More common phrasal verbs with OFF can be found here.