Phrases with 'off' 22 Temmuz 2013

In English we have a lot of phrases with off to explain various situations.  You will hear these often, particularly if you are in contact with foreigners on a regular basis.  Here are a few of the common ones:

1-      ‘to get off on the wrong foot’ – This means to start something in the wrong way.  This might be due to a misunderstanding, or a problem in supplying the customer.  You can say ‘we got off on the wrong foot’.

2-      ‘to be caught off your guard’ – This means that something happened that you weren’t prepared for.  You could say ‘the change in the deadline caught me off my guard’.

3-      ‘to carry something off’ -  This means to succeed at something that was extremely difficult.  You did not expect to succeed.  For example, you could say ‘Although it was last minute, we carried the presentation off’.

So I hope today that you did not get off on the wrong foot, that you were not caught off guard and that you were able to carry something off successfully.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at