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Quentin
James was trying to find something to help keep things from falling off of shelves on ships at sea James was trying to find something to help keep things from falling off of shelves on ships at sea。 In this sentence, "falling off" is a verb? falling off of shelves Does "v. + of + n? " exist in English grammer?
Sep 5, 2019 1:19 PM
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Answers · 5
Here, I would say that the verb is just "falling." We often use "off of" or "out of" to convey the idea of "removing." I took the camera out of the box. I pulled the sheets off of the bed. I wiped the dirt off of my face. The fan blew the smoke out of the room. That's a fun sentence-- it was obviously designed to end with a large number of prepositional phrases. Here's another great sentence that can help you understand the way that prepositions work in English. "It was bedtime, and a father was trying to decide which book he should read to his son. He chose a book, and asked, "would you like me to read this book?" His son said, "Ugh, no. ***What did you bring that book that I don't like to be read to out of from up for?***" " EDIT: ninja'd by Gray :)
September 5, 2019
No, "n + of + v" isn't a common grammar structure. The reason we use "of" here is because of the word "off." When we use "off" to describe motion away from something, we often add the preposition "of." "The cat jumped off of the table." "The pen fell off of the desk." "The book fell off of the shelf." You don't need the word "of." It's okay to just say "The cat jumped off the table" or "The book fell off the shelf." But we sometimes say "off of" to make the relationship more clear. Another word that usually goes with "of" is the word "out." "The pen fell out of my hand." "Take the money out of the jar." The word "of" can imply separation. In these cases, it tells you that something is being separated from (off of / out of) something else.
September 5, 2019
As a former sailor I can tell you that James was looking for a "fiddle". This has nothing to do with your question, but it's a fun little bit of nautical jargon. :)
September 5, 2019
“Falling off” is an expression (means “falling down”), so you say the expression (“falling off”, meaning “falling down”) and then you add “of” (the preposition). I hope it helps, :)
September 5, 2019
Quentin
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language
English