ON vs. OFF

Difference Between ON and OFF

On and off are two very common words that are very confusing. However they are by no means interchangeable. While both of them are used as preposition or adverb, their purpose or functions are quite different.

The word ‘on’ is used as a preposition to indicate a relationship of the object- linked to the sentence- indicating to space. Let us have an example: “Ron was seen running on the turf.” On can also be used as an adverb to describe the verb that indicates: “how, when and where”. As for example: “Perez and Selena got married on summer,” “He came for the interview on time,” “the factory is on the side of the mill.”

Off describes a state of condition as in the sentence: “The lights were all off when I came in.” When applied as a preposition, the word off associated all nouns and pronouns in a sentence. As for example “I need to get off of work today.”

Even if there are similarities the differences cannot be ignored. While on indicates the wearing of any dress; off indicates removal of anything the subject was wearing. On may also indicate the close proximity of a person while off tells about the distance between the two subjects. The word on can indicate the continuation of an activity and off means discontinuation of an activity.

When the word ‘on’ is used for electronic devices, it means that the particular machine is in working mode and off signifies that machine is not working. As far as the digital world is concerned, ‘on’ indicate positive or high state and ‘off’ means negative or low state. In case of applications ‘on’ and ‘off’ are usually coded using binary numbers; on is coded as binary digit 1 and off as 0.

It is the lack of knowledge that leads to the misuse of these two words.  And since they are some of the most common words we tend to over look their differences and thus all the more mistakes are made.

 

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