Talk:of

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

What is the purpose of this article? Wikipedia is an encyclopedia, not a dictionary. An online or offline dictionary will have a far better definition of "of" than this article ever will, so it adds nothing (except translations -- whoop de do). GavinSinclair, 2004-07-08

This is not Wikipedia. This is Wiktionary. Wiktionary is a dictionary - not an encyclopedia. Thank you for your crystal-ball opinion anyway. — Hippietrail 05:56, 8 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I'm once again skeptical of the pronunciation section. I don't believe I change the vowel under stress (so to speak) — it's a schwa in both cases. This seems pretty clearly subject to regional variation. We might also mention the tendency to drop the final consonant entirely (as documented in "o'clock" and other such). Given that I'm dialectally challenged here, I'd like to gather a consensus before editing the section, but an edit seems likely. -dmh 22:09, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)


I've added some senses and related terms, but this is still pretty rough (you try defining the various sense of of without using of :-). There aren't that many really basic senses, and I feeling like I'm dancing around them instead of nailing them down. Nonetheless, I think it's better to call out more senses, particularly for the benefit of foreign speakers. Even in the Germanic and Romance languages, the various prepositions meaning things like to and from don't map cleanly to each other, and I generally take differing translations as indicating different senses. For example, of is usually van in Dutch, but in time expressions it's voor, so I've called out time expressions explicitly. -dmh 22:42, 19 Sep 2004 (UTC)


Still wrestling with this beast. Here is a list of random usages from BNC and elsewhere. Part/whole relationships are clearly significant and probably central. Not all of these would require separate definitions. In particular, the countable/uncountable distinction shouldn't matter greatly.


Raw material has been moved to Talk:Of/Raw


6. (in expressions of time) Before.

"It's almost a quarter of four." So... I've never heard this one before. Is it regional? British? More details needed.--Xetxo 21:23, 6 November 2009 (UTC)


7. Connects a jurisdiction to its name. "The city of Lawrence is located on the Kaw river." Doesn't "of" in this case refer to the City as belonging to the name Lawrence? Just as the sentence "The people of Lawrence are good" refers to the people as belonging to the name Lawrence... like, where the name it'self is an idea and things are attributed to the idea? I like the definition, it should stand on it's own, apart from the related definition, but I feel like the similarities should be pointed out somehow.

8. Incorrect usage: The (proudly working class) Rolling Stones popularized the inappropriate insertion of the preposition "of" with their song "Get off of my cloud". Inserting "of" where it is not needed in a sentence is considered an error made by uneducated English speakers, rather than foreign speakers of English. Example: "It is as arrogant of an assumption as it is naive." When it would be correct to say: "It is as arrogant an assumption as it is naive." unsigned comment by User:41.242.186.84 08:40, November 10, 2010 (UTC)

off of is very common in American English and is a well-established idiom in our dialect. There is a sense that off is only an adverb, not a preposition. —Stephen (Talk) 11:07, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

Verb Form[edit]

Personally, I think the use of "of" as a verb e.g. "I would of gone" should be more strongly emphasized as incorrect. Is there a way to do that? 76.65.0.17 22:32, 14 June 2010 (UTC)

I think it is merely a common misspelling, and that is what it says. We don’t want to get into proscribing usage, but limit ourselves to point out that something is a common misspelling, if that is appropriate, or in some cases where it is not, that it is commonly considered to be incorrect, offensive, or whatever. —Stephen 17:39, 15 June 2010 (UTC)
It shouldn't be placed in a "Verb" subsection, but as a note, if at all. Rodri316 (talk) 16:44, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't think it's a misspelling so much as eye dialect, compare something like landlubber. The reason I say this is people in the North of England say /ɒv/ instead of /ʌv/, which is why when transcribed into written language, it's spelt of not 've. Mglovesfun (talk) 17:01, 13 June 2012 (UTC)
I disagree. Eye dialect is intentional, something like woulda or cuppa – people know that's not part of the written standard language because it's not taught at school to write like this, and in fact discouraged. In contrast, would of is simply a mistake caused by the homophony of the reduced forms of have and of (namely /ə(v)/); it's more like a hypercorrection, because the wrong expansion is selected for the reduced form. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 04:26, 21 November 2013 (UTC)