mark off

Tales_fromThe_ViennaWoods

Senior Member
Argentinian and European Spanish
Hi people,

I'd like to know if in BrE "mark off" means "to lower a student's mark" for example because he/she has been caught cheating in an exam, he/she hasn't handed in some classwork etc.

e.g. (said by the teacher in an exam) If you keep talking, I'll mark you all off.

Thank you for your help.

Tales
 
  • Tales_fromThe_ViennaWoods

    Senior Member
    Argentinian and European Spanish
    Thank you, Uncle Jack. How come I couldn't find it in the dictionary? Is it an extension of "docking" meaning "reducing something"? There were examples of animal tails and wages, but none of marks. Does "mark off" not exist? Is there any other way teachers could warn their students he/she would deduct some marks, apart from the ones you suggested?

    Thank you in advance.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It might be a BrE usage, it has the same meaning as docking wages; I doubt that docking points or marks is a common enough thing to have made it into these dictionaries. You can always take marks off, if you don't like "deduct".
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    As UJ says, you can find the words "mark off" together when "mark" is a noun, after a verb like "take".
    But if you want "mark" to be a verb, you can "mark off" items on a list, which means the same as checking or ticking them off. It can't be used like that to describe the act of deducting marks. You could, however, "mark someone down".
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    It might be a BrE usage, it has the same meaning as docking wages; I doubt that docking points or marks is a common enough thing to have made it into these dictionaries. You can always take marks off, if you don't like "deduct".
    The Collins (BE) entry alows a broader use than wages :)

    dock vb (transitive)
    1. to remove (the tail or part of the tail) of (an animal) by cutting through the bone
    2. to deduct (an amount) from (a person's wages, pension, etc)
     
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