Pulse Blogger: Day off or off day?

Manchester United had an off day when they played against Huddersfield last Saturday.

Do you know that some dictionaries yet don’t have the expressions “day off” and “off day”? Look them up in your Merriam Webster and Cambridge dictionaries. But that does not make them less of English words because other dictionaries have them.

You may also get confused whether they are regarded as phrases or two-word nouns. Well, they are both, depending on the circumstances and your interpretations.

The real point of confusion comes with their definitions which directly influence how they are used in utterances. So what does “day off” mean? “Day off” is the expression for the day when you do not have to go to work, school or perform a particular function/task.


I will have a day off next Thursday.

Today is my day off at work.

My next door neighbour has travelled so I have the day off from his loud music.

My teacher has the day off  teaching since I suddenly developed some fever.

Morata has a day off  playing because he is down with injury.

You may also pluralize it if you have more than a day off. You pluralize the first element. You may even have a week, month, or year off.


I have two days off this week.

My boss promised me a week off next month.

Next year will be my year off at work.

My organization cannot allow you to have a month off.

“Off day” is the expression you use when you mean to say that someone has a bad day, or when you are underperforming at a task that you normally do well.


Manchester United had an off day when they played against Huddersfield last Saturday.

Dr. Kim will surely have an off day trying to defend his reasons for failing my friend.

The best of orators sometimes have an off day.

You also use “off day” when you mean “day off.” This meaning is more tenable in Malaysia and United States of America. This is where you have to be careful how you use the two terms. The co-texts (words in the environment) of “day off” and “off day” would help point to your exact meaning since both of them can be used interchangeably in certain countries.

Your expression could become ambiguous if carelessly worded with any of the two terms. Example: “December 5th was my daddy’s off day.” Does this expression mean that my daddy had a bad day on December 5th or he did not go to work on that day?

“Sunday is an off day.” This expression is clearer in meaning because of the presence of the words “Sunday” and the verb “is.” In simple present tense meaning, it is believed that Sundays are generally days when people do not go to work. As a future expression, it means the speaker will not go to work on Sunday.

Either way, we are still able to understand that “off day” in this expression means “day off.” You may as well say: “Friday is my off day” and we would understand that you will not go to work next Friday or you do not go to work on Fridays.

Written by Omidire Idowu

Omidire, Idowu Joshua is a proficient editor and writer who works for publication firms and online magazines. He organizes online English classes. Reach him at [email protected]

Author: Pulse Blogger

Source link : http://www.pulse.ng/communities/bloggers/pulse-blogger-day-off-or-off-day-id7525851.html



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