I am off to work

Discussion in 'English Only' started by mimi2, Feb 11, 2007.

  1. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    "I am off to work now"
    Does it mean that I am about to work now.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    It actually means that you're going to work. You would, perhaps, say this as you're leaving your house in the morning... "Well, I am off to work now". This is an idiom that can be applied in many circumstances ie:

    "I'm off to run errands"
    "I'm off to get a haircut"
    "I'm off to test-drive a new car"

    It means that you are "going off" somewhere to do something.
     
  3. mimi2 Senior Member

    vietnam vietnamese
    Thank you, Dimcl.
    The last question for this subject:
    "I'm off to bed"
    Is it in the case too?
     
  4. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English
    Absolutely - perfect example.:)
     
  5. The MightyQ Senior Member

    Ottawa
    English, Canada
    You could even say "I'm off" meaning "I am leaving."
     
  6. Pidginboy Senior Member

    India-Local dialect
    If I am leaving workplace for home, can I say: "I am off to home"?
     
  7. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    I would just say, "I'm off." With the thought being that I'm off work, heading off for parts unknown. If I wanted to be specific, I would probably say, "I'm heading home."

    As for contractions, these are such casual statements, that I prefer "I'm" rather than "I am," which increases their formality (for me). I'm off to work. I'm off to bed. I'm off.
     
  8. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    I don't think "I'm off to home" works. Home is where we return to, not a place we can go off to.
     
  9. Bevj

    Bevj Allegra Moderata

    Girona, Spain
    English (U.K.)
    Just to confuse matters - that would be 'I'm off home' (at least in UK English)!
     
  10. Thomas Tompion Senior Member

    Southwest France
    English - England
    Or I'm going off home - the fact that we are returning doesn't seem to prevent use of 'off', with its force of leaving where we happen to be.

    Home is standard for to where the person lives - he went home, they came home, she was sent home, etc. I can't think of a case where we say to home, where movement is concerned - we do, however, say things are close to home. We also say I am going to a home..., to the home..., to my home...
     
  11. Disneyesque

    Disneyesque Senior Member

    Korean 
    Does it mean that someone is on one's way, or someone is going to(=will) go there(bed/work/home) shortly?
     
  12. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    Please read post #2.
     
  13. Disneyesque

    Disneyesque Senior Member

    Korean 
    Missed it, sorry dear.
     
  14. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    It used to be common to omit verbs of motion go or come, so that in Shakespeare, you might read 'Will you to the tower?' (Hamlet) = Will you go to the tower?. So there are vestiges of this in English today. You might hear things like, 'He's away to Glasgow tomorrow' = He's going​ away to Glasgow tomorrow. (Maybe that's more Scottish?) So 'I'm off' just means 'I'm going off'.
     
  15. yuqiaoran New Member

    Chinese
    Why can home not be a place we go off to but only return to?
     
  16. Hermione Golightly

    Hermione Golightly Senior Member

    SW London
    British English

    I don't find anything odd about "I'm off home", without 'to', especially if I want to emphasise that home is where I'm going. I wouldn't say "I am going off home". I say either "I am going home" or more casually, "I am off home". Some of the differences could be idiosyncracies of use, or regional variations, but using "to home" is not correct.

    Hermione

    Hermione
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  17. Copyright

    Copyright Senior Member

    Penang
    American English
    I think you can go home ... but if I were at work and were going home, I would say to someone, "Ok, I'm off." If I needed to specify I was going home, I would say it as an attachment: Ok, I'm off ... dinner's waiting. (Or something.)

    I would do this because "I'm off to home" sounds odd. "I'm off home" sounds just a tiny bit better, but still not good enough for me to use.
     
  18. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    I have no problems with 'I'm off home', but 'I'm off to home' sounds really off to me. (Sorry, not a good pun. ;))
     
  19. ribran

    ribran Senior Member

    Austin, Texas
    English - American
    How do other Americans (besides Copyright :)) feel about "I'm off home"? It sounds pretty jarring to me.
     
  20. Disneyesque

    Disneyesque Senior Member

    Korean 
    I reckon it can't be in a past tense, can it be? (Well, I don't know if the following 'can it be' is natural.)
    ex. I was off home. She was off to bed.

    The reason why I thought it cannot be is that, 'be off' seems to be limitedly used just before leaving. (For it is similar to 'going off')
     
  21. pob14 Senior Member

    Central Illinois
    American English
    I agree with you, ribran.
     
  22. JustKate

    JustKate Moderate Mod

    Me, too. I can't imagine ever saying this, but I can imagine someone with an English accent doing so. ;)

    The past tense is fine in "She was off to bed," and in other contexts, too, e.g., "She was off on an adventure" and "He was off to see a movie." As noted above, I have an AmE block regarding the whole "off home" construction, so I can't speak to that.
     
  23. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "I'm off home" sounds unremarkable to me. I could happily use it.
     
  24. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    Devon
    British English
    No problem about using the past tense.
    I was just off home when the boss called after me "where's that work I gave you?"
    She was off to bed when the doorbell rang.
    I had been off to work at the same time every day, but that all changed when I won the lottery.
     
  25. Ryukishin

    Ryukishin Junior Member

    Jakarta
    Indonesia
    In my opinion, I think home is a phrase that is similar to somewhere/where/anywhere.
    You can say "you've gone somewhere" but It'd be odd to say you've gone "to" somewhere
    Also, We'd normally use "to" when we're about to say something like "Do you know some places that I should travel/go to"
    the word "Home" is an exception because its use is similar to somewhere/where/anywhere.
    So I think It's okay to say "I'm off home", Well ,I'd usually say "I'm going home" though
    Also, I think It's okay to use "off" in the past tense.
    i.e "He was already off somewhere to fish when you came to his house"
    I'm not a native english speaker, So Correct me If I'm mistaken :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2012
  26. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima

    Singapore
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    The past tense form is fine for me. You could be narrating a story, for example, in an informal way. 'I had finished for the day. I was off home and was looking forward to forty winks.'
     
  27. Dona Ona New Member

    Germany
    Hokkien
    Can I say ' I am going to be off / I am gonna be off / I will be off ' when I want to close a conversation in a chat with my friend?
     
  28. Forero Senior Member

    Houston, Texas, USA
    USA English
    That does not sound natural to me, with the intended meaning, but you can certainly say "I must be off", "I've got to be off", etc.
     
  29. Enquiring Mind

    Enquiring Mind Senior Member

    UK/Česká republika
    English - the Queen's
    Hi Dona Ona, no, none of those three work if you want to close a conversation. You'd say something like: (e.g. well it's been nice talking to you, but I'm afraid) I've got to go, or I need to go, or I have to go or it's time (for me) to go - maybe plus the word "soon" or "shortly" or "in a moment" or "now".

    Well it's been nice answering your post, but I've got to go now, I'm afraid.

    [Ed: cross-posted: Forero's options in #28 are good too.]
     
  30. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    To me, they all require "now" adding at the end.

    "I am going to/gonna be off now. I'll call you tomorrow."
    "I will be off now. I'll call you tomorrow.'

    (Crosspost and agreeing with with Enquiring Mind.)
     

Share This Page