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preposition, rarely particle, NP junctor


often marks a possessor, or a filiation, or a part of a larger ensemble

  • That car of hers is a real mess.
  • That kid of his is a real mess.
  • That part of the house is a real mess.


from off


Most often, de


"Of" is followed by a noun or a noun phrase. If a verb follows this preposition, it must be in the form Ving

  • We're thinking of buying a new house.
  • There is talk of selling the company.

It is is worth noting that with verbs like "think", "dream", "talk", of and about are synonyms.

out of

A very common collocation. (16.2 billion examples at Google.)

  • The lawyer got out of the car.
  • I got out of working Tuesday. (I don't have to work Tuesday!)
  • We ran out of [ time / gas / money ].

The "off of" debate

Though this is considered incorrect by many (particularly in the UK), it is very widespread in everyday American speech (and writing, as a web search quickly confirms). As above, the preposition is phonologically reduced to a schwa (ə)

Given that "of" is itself etymologically derived from "off", it is certainly a peculiar structure!

  • The boy fell off (of) the horse.
  • The President got off (of) the airplane.

There are many cases in which off of is more "elegantly" expressed with from. In some cases off of suggests "at the expense of", or emphasizes a more violent separation than the more "correct" preposition from.

  • They got rich off of slave labor.
  • They made a fortune off of his performances.

NP junctor

N1 of N2 vs. N2 N1

  • school of music // music school
  • a friend of mine // my friend
  • the ace of spades // *the king of white
  • the spade ace // the white king
  • left of center ≠ center left (♯♯ ♬♪: Suzanne Vega)


  • part of the picture
  • a piece of the pie
  • made up of visible and other, darker matters

more complicated cases

  • a hell of a problem
  • that jerk (of a) brother of mine