(the) off season

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
from dictionaries:

off season
In the off season, there’s hardly anyone staying at the hotel.
Although it was off-season, the hotel was fully occupied.

Why does the former off season take the article, while the latter doesn't?
Only because of the prepostion?
Thanks.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The second one is a Cobuild's example and it says it's a noun.:(
    But it gives an example of using the adverb, too: Times become more flexible off-season, especially in the smaller provincial museums.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    From the WRF dictionary. I would say many people would omit the hyphen in your second example. Replace the "off season" with the word "winter" and see how you think it sounds:D "Although it was winter, ..."
    off season adj (off-season when prenominal)
    • denoting or occurring during a period of little activity in a trade or business
    n
    • such a period
    adv
    • in an off-season period
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    From the WRF dictionary. I would say many people would omit the hyphen in your second example. Replace the "off season" with the word "winter" and see how you think it sounds:D "Although it was winter, ..."
    But people also usually say "in winter", not "in the winter", like:
    We usually go skiing in winter. (MED)
    Why is it "in the off season", then...?
     

    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Some people do say "in the winter", as you can see from the links under this Ngram.

    If you accept that it could be either with or without the article, maybe "the" is preferable here give a hint to the reader that what is coming is a noun modified by an adjective. "Off" doesn't look much like an adjective, and "in off" can be confusing.

    Edit: You'll see that some of the quotes in the Ngram results are for "winter" as an adjective, but there are many in which it is a noun.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    If you accept that it could be either with or without the article, maybe "the" is preferable here give a hint to the reader that what is coming is a noun modified by an adjective. "Off" doesn't look much like an adjective, and "in off" can be confusing.
    Sorry, but I don't understand what you mean and what it has to do with an adjective.:(
     

    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I don't know how to understand "off season" as a noun except to see "off" as in definitions 1 or 4 for "off" as adjective in the WRF dictionary, and to see season as another noun that "off" modifies.

    If that doesn't appeal to you, and you'd rather just consider "off season" as a noun without further analysis, "in" immediately followed by "off" is still a confusing collocation. I think that preceding "off season" with "the" prepares the listener or reader for a noun.

    You asked why "the off season". That's what I'm trying to answer for you. "In the winter" is accepted usage. So is "in the off season". "In off season" may be, but it is hard to read.
     
    Last edited:

    jchangeh

    New Member
    Madarin
    I have this dictionary ,too.
    In the dictionary, it says "The off season is the time of the year when not many people go on holiday and when things such as hotels and plane tickets are often cheaper."
    From my understanding, it's the particular time of the year so you need an article.

    The second sentence is just stating a situation in general.

    you may compare with the following sentence:
    The water we drank last year had a lot of chlorine in it.
    Water has a lot of chlorine in it.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    The second sentence is just stating a situation in general.

    you may compare with the following sentence:
    The water we drank last year had a lot of chlorine in it.
    Water has a lot of chlorine in it.
    I see both sentences in #1 as saying about a particular hotel and off season in general:confused:
    I don't know how to understand "off season" as a noun except to see "off" as in definitions 1 or 4 for "off" as adjective in the WRF dictionary, and to see season as another noun that "off" modifies.

    If that doesn't appeal to you, and you'd rather just consider "off season" as a noun without further analysis, "in" immediately followed by "off" is still a confusing collocation. I think that preceding "off season" with "the" prepares the listener or reader for a noun.

    You asked why "the off season". That's what I'm trying to answer for you. "In the winter" is accepted usage. So is "in the off season". "In off season" may be, but it is hard to read.
    Do I understand correctly that you mean that "in + the + adj + noun" is just an idiomatic collocation?
     
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