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JA asked in Society & CultureLanguages · 2 months ago

Can you help me with English please?

While some types of coral reefs off the Hawaiian coastline are living, others are dead.

1. What does this "off" mean? It is a preposition?

2. I can't understand this sentence exactly. Please explain this to me clearly.

Thank you.

2 Answers

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  • 2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    "Off" in this case means "away from"  but not too far away.  It is a preposition in this sentence.

    Corals are actually small animals that create shells for themselves and live in coral colonies that can get so big, with many thousands of animals, as to become reefs. The corals live and die like any animals.  When a coral animal dies, another is likely to build a shell on top of its shell.  There are different species of coral too.

    If all the corals in a colony die, then the reef is a dead reef.  When they are alive, it is a live reef.  Of course many other creatures may live on or around a coral reef too.  

  • 2 months ago

    I’m not a teacher, just an avid student of English.

    Yes, in this case, “off” is being used as a preposition.

    “Off the coastline” would be a prepositional phrase meaning “at a distance from the shoreline,” or “out in the water.”

    You can see how this phrase is working in the sentence by removing it and putting something else in its place.

    “While some types of coral reefs (off the Hawaiian coastline) are living, others are dead.”

    While some types of coral reefs (near the islands) are living, others are dead.

    While some types of coral reefs (by the bridge) are living, others are dead.

    You can see the prepositional phrase is helping with communicating a location or direction.  And that is one typical function of prepositions.

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