learn (off) by heart

Haroon

Senior Member
Arabic-Egypt
hi all

I want to make sure whether there is (off) in this phrase or not as some binary dictionaries put it while I could not find it in monolingual ones!!

Thanks in advance.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    I agree with Soundshift's post #2. Perhaps this is just a BE usage?
    Could be... I've lived in the Midwest and the West Coast and this is the first time I've heard it (one of the reasons I like this forum:)). So I guess the right answer in this case would be the English of the intended audience.
     

    SuprunP

    Senior Member
    Ukrainian & Russian
    How do these sentences sound to you?
    "I've got to learn these words off in a very short time."
    "You are to learn these two pages off by tomorrow morning."

    Thanks.
     

    Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    How do these sentences sound to you?"I've got to learn these words off in a very short time.""You are to learn these two pages off by tomorrow morning."Thanks.
    Those sentences sound odd to me. I don't think we have such a usage, at least in American English.
     

    Mikadetucci

    New Member
    "Learn off" isn't even considered a phrasal verb. Nevertheless, I have heard such phrases as: "I learnt it off the computer"; "He was great person to learn off". Grammatically speaking, the preposition "from" should be used. "I've got to learn these words (off) by heart in a very short time" and "You have to learn these two pages (off) by heart by tomorrow morning", is correct. To sum up your query, the idiom "To learn something (off) by heart" means to memorize something perfectly. I hope this explanation helps.
     

    George French

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    At least one BE user normally doesn't put the off in. Who is that you may ask?? :)

    Reply to post 7.. I would not use off in either of the sentences...

    GF..

    PS.. I'm from the left hand side, just north of the Bristol Channel.
     
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    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    How do these sentences sound to you?
    "I've got to learn these words off in a very short time."
    "You are to learn these two pages off by tomorrow morning."

    Thanks.
    They sound unidiomatic because the expression is "to learn something" or "to learn something (off) by heart". If you choose to include the "off", you need to follow it with "by heart". "To learn something off" is not a possibility. So:-

    "I've got to learn these words." :tick:
    "I've got to learn these words off." :cross:
    "I've got to learn these words by heart." :tick:
    "I've got to learn these words off by heart." :tick: (But "off by heart seems to be used by BE speakers only, judging by the rest of this discussion.)
     
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