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Ask-A-Linguist Message Details
|Subject:||'out of' vs. 'off of'|
|Question:||Why do you get ''out'' of a chair, but ''off'' of a sofa, bench, etc.? Is is just a colloquialism, or is there a root cause? Conversely, you sit ''in'' a chair, but ''on'' a bech, sofa, stool, etc.|
|Reply:||A lot of prepositional use is somewhat arbitrary. I suspect that originally chairs were considered more of an enclosure (consider a large chair with arms) than a bench or stool which was just a platform. Over time, the architecture of the two have become more similar in many cases. For the record though, I can sit "on" a chair as well as "in" it.|
|Reply From:||Elizabeth J Pyatt click here to access email|