“From” Does Not Mean “Off”

The word from is not synonymous with the word off or the words off of. This is something that I hear fairly often.

For example, I got these nematodes off the guy in the lab next door or I got these nematodes off of the guy in the lab next door (well, maybe I don’t hear this exact sentence all that often!) should be I got these nematodes from the guy in the lab next door. The only way that off or off of would be correct is if you actually plucked each nematode off the poor guy.

You also borrow five dollars from your brother, steal a cigarette from a co-worker (not that I’m advocating either smoking or thievery), and take your daughter’s car keys from her.

Sherry

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