Of vs Through - What's the difference?

of | through |

As a conjunction of

is (subordinating ) whether, if.

As a preposition through is

from one side of an opening to the other.

As an adjective through is

passing from one side of an object to the other.

As an adverb through is

from one side to the other by way of the interior.

As a noun through is

a large slab of stone laid on a tomb.




(wikipedia of) (English prepositions)
  • # (now, obsolete, or, dialectal) From (of distance, direction), "off".
  • #* :
  • Sir said Galahad by this shelde ben many merueils fallen / Sir sayd the knyght hit befelle after the passion of our lord Ihesu Crist xxxij yere that Ioseph of Armathye the gentyl knyghte / the whiche took doune oure lord of the hooly Crosse att that tyme he departed from Iherusalem with a grete party of his kynred with hym
  • #* , II.5.3.ii:
  • Against headache, vertigo, vapours which ascend forth of the stomach to molest the head, read Hercules de Saxonia and others.
  • #
  • #* 1526 , William Tyndale, trans. Bible , Mark IX:
  • And he axed his father: howe longe is it agoo, sens this hath happened hym? And he sayde, of a chylde.
  • #* 1616 , William Shakespeare, Two Gentlemen of Verona , IV.4:
  • one that I brought vp of a puppyI was sent to deliuer him, as a present to Mistris Siluia, from my Master.
  • #* 2010 July 29, Simon Tisdall, The Guardian :
  • Obama has been obliged to make nice of late in hope of rescuing the moribund two-state process and preventing resumed West Bank settlement building.
  • # From, away from (a position, number, distance etc.).
  • #* 1932 September 30, Time :
  • Though Washington does not offically recognize Moscow, the Hoover Administration permits a Soviet Russian Information Bureau to flourish in a modest red brick house on Massachusetts Avenue, within a mile of the White House.
  • #* 2010 November 7, The Guardian :
  • There are now upwards of 1.4 million 99ers in America facing a life with no benefits and few prospects for finding a job in a market in which companies are still not hiring.
  • # (North America, Scotland, Ireland) Before (the hour); to.
  • #* 1940 June 17, "Little Bull Booed", Time :
  • "Fellow Democrats," he began, "I left Washington at a quarter of two this morning."
  • #* 1982 , (TC Boyle), Water Music , Penguin, 2006, page 194:
  • Quarter of seven. Fifteen minutes to go.
  • Expressing separation.
  • # Indicating removal, absence or separation, with the action indicated by a transitive verb and the quality or substance by a grammatical object.
  • #* :
  • And ther with on his handes and on his knees he wente soo nyghe that he touched the holy vessel / and kyste hit / and anone he was hole / and thenne he sayd lord god I thanke the / for I am helyd of this sekenesse
  • #* , II.1:
  • Antigonus [took] upon him to favour a souldier of his by reason of his vertue and valour, to have great care of him, and see whether they could recover him of a lingering and inward disease which had long tormented him.
  • #* 1816 February 20, Jane Austen, Letter :
  • I am almost entirely cured of my rheumatism—just a little pain in my knee now and then, to make me remember what it was, and keep on flannel.
  • #* 1951 , Time , 3 September:
  • In Houston, ten minutes after the Lindquist Finance Corp. was robbed of $447, Office Manager Howard Willson got a phone call from the thief who complained: "You didn't have enough money over there."
  • # Indicating removal, absence or separation, with resulting state indicated by an adjective.
  • #* 1731 August 28, Jonathan Swift, Letter :
  • But schemes are perfectly accidental: some will appear barren of hints and matter, but prove to be fruitful.
  • #* 2010 October 31, Stuart James, The Guardian :
  • Yet for long spells Villa looked laboured and devoid of ideas.
  • # (obsolete) Indicating removal, absence or separation, construed with an intransitive verb.
  • #* 1822 , Jacob Bailey Moore, New Hampshire , volume 1, page 5:
  • He was kindly treated by the people at Saco, and recovered of his wounds.
  • Expressing origin.
  • # Indicating an ancestral source or origin of descent.
  • #* 1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. Bible , Acts II:
  • They wondred all, and marveylled sayinge amonge themselves: Loke, are not all these which speake off galile? And howe heare we every man his awne tongue wherein we were boren?
  • #* 1954 , The Rotarian , volume 85:6:
  • My father was born of a family of weavers in Manchester, England.
  • #* 2010 , "The Cost of Repair", The Economist :
  • Nothing may come of these ideas, yet their potential should not be dismissed.
  • # Indicating a (non-physical) source of action or emotion; introducing a cause, instigation; from, out of, as an expression of.
  • #* :
  • Faire knyght said Palomydes me semeth we haue assayed eyther other passyng sore / and yf hit may please the / I requyre the of thy knyghthode telle me thy name / Sir said the kny?t to Palomydes / that is me loth to doo / for thou hast done me wronge.
  • #* 1803 , John Smalley, Sermons :
  • Undoubtedly it is to be understood, that inflicting deserved punishment on all evil doers, of right, belongs to God.
  • #* 2008 December 3, Rowenna Davis, The Guardian :
  • The woman who danced for me said she was there of her own free will, but when I pushed a bit further, I discovered that she "owed a man a lot of money", and had to pay it back quickly.
  • # Following an intransitive verb: indicating the source or cause of the verb.
  • #* 2006 , Joyce Carol Oates, The Female of the Species :
  • He smelled of beer and cigarette smoke and his own body.
  • #* 2010 October 5, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, The Guardian :
  • Two men, one from Somalia and one from Zimbabwe, died of terminal illnesses shortly after their incarceration ended.
  • # Following an adjective.
  • #* 2010 September 23, Bagehot, The Economist :
  • Lib Dems were appalled by Mr Boles’s offer, however kindly meant: the party is so frightened of losing its independence under Mr Clegg that such a pact would “kill” him, says a senior member.
  • Expressing agency.
  • # Following a passive verb to indicate the agent (for most verbs, now usually expressed with (by)).
  • #* 1526 , (William Tyndale), trans. Bible , Acts IX:
  • After a good while, the iewes toke cousell amonge themselves to kyll him. But their layinges awayte wer knowen of Saul.
  • #* , II.1:
  • she might appeare to be the lively patterne of another Lucrece, yet know I certainly that, both before that time and afterward, she had beene enjoyed of others upon easier composition.
  • #* 1995 , The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, The Family: A Proclamation to the World:
  • The family is ordained of God.
  • #* 2008 March 27, "Selling rhythm to the world", The Economist :
  • Colombia and Venezuela share an elegantly restrained style, with much back-stepping, smaller hand-movements and little use of the elaborate, arm-tangling moves beloved of Cuban dancers.
  • # Used to introduce the "(subjective genitive)"; following a noun to form the head of a postmodifying noun phrase.
  • #* 1994 , Paul Coates, Film at the Intersection of High and Mass Culture , page 136:
  • In Blood and Sand , meanwhile, Valentino repeatedly solicits the attention of women who have turned away from him.
  • #* 2009 December 28, "Head to head", The Economist :
  • Somehow Croatia has escaped the opprobrium of the likes of the German Christian Democrats and others that are against any rapid enlargement of the European Union to the include rest of the western Balkans.
  • # Following an adjective, used to indicate the agent of something described by the adjective.
  • #* 1815 , Jane Austen, Emma :
  • When this was over, Mr. Woodhouse gratefully observed,—"It is very kind of you, Mr. Knightley, to come out at this late hour to call upon us."
  • #* 2007 January 10, Dorian Lynskey, The Guardian :
  • Morrissey's spokesperson says he is considering the offer. It would perhaps be rude of him to decline.
  • Expressing composition, substance.
  • # After a verb expressing construction, making etc., used to indicate the material or substance used.
  • #* 1846 , Herman Melville, Typee :
  • The mallet is made of a hard heavy wood resembling ebony, is about twelve inches in length, and perhaps two in breadth, with a rounded handle at one end.
  • # Directly following a noun, used to indicate the material from which it is made.
  • #* 2010 January 23, Simon Mawer, The Guardian :
  • Perhaps symbolically, Van Doesburg was building a house of straw: he died within a few months of completion, not in Meudon but in Davos, of a heart attack following a bout of asthma.
  • # Indicating the composition of a given collective or quantitative noun.
  • #* 1853 , William Makepeace Thackeray, Barry Lyndon :
  • His papers at this period contain a mass of very unedifying and uninteresting documents.
  • #* 2010 October 31, Polly Vernon, The Guardian :
  • I'd expected to be confronted by oodles of barely suppressed tension and leather-clad, pouty-mouthed, large-haired sexiness; the visual shorthand of rock gods in general, and Jon Bon Jovi in particular.
  • # Used to link a given class of things with a specific example of that class.
  • #* 1719 , Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe :
  • This having the rainy month of March and April to water it, sprung up very pleasantly, and yielded a very good crop.
  • #* 2010 October 30, Maya Jaggi, The Guardian :
  • In his studio in the Behlendorf woods, near the Baltic city of Lübeck, Günter Grass reflects on the outcry over his fictive memoir Peeling the Onion .
  • # Linking two nouns in near-apposition, with the first qualifying the second; "which is also".
  • #* 1911 , Katherine Mansfield, In a German Pension :
  • As he swallowed the soup his heart warmed to this fool of a girl.
  • #* 2010 August 22, Sean O'Hagan, The Guardian :
  • "I'm having a bitch of a day," he says, after ordering a restorative pint of Guinness and flopping down in a seat by the front window.
  • Introducing subject matter.
  • # Linking an intransitive verb, or a transitive verb and its subject (especially verbs to do with thinking, feeling, expressing etc.), with its subject-matter: concerning, with regard to.
  • #* 1815 , Jane Austen, Emma :
  • he spoke of' his uncle with warm regard, was fond of talking ' of him.
  • #* :
  • "You must not judge of Celia's feeling from mine. I think she likes these small pets."
  • #* 2010 October 19, Rebecca Seal, The Guardian :
  • while producing Cook , which includes more than 250 seasonal recipes by 80 different chefs, we washed up more than 500 times (oh, how I dreamed of dishwashers).
  • # Following a noun (now chiefly nouns of knowledge, communication etc.), to introduce its subject matter; about, concerning.
  • #* 1859', Charles Dickens, ''A Tale '''of Two Cities
  • #* 2010 October 21, The Economist :
  • Recession and rising unemployment have put paid to most thoughts of further EU enlargement.
  • # Following an adjective, to introduce its subject matter.
  • #* 1851 , Herman Melville, Moby-Dick :
  • The same secludedness and isolation to which the schoolmaster whale betakes himself in his advancing years, is true of all aged Sperm Whales.
  • Having (partitive) effect.
  • # Following a number or other quantitive word: introducing the whole for which is indicated only the specified part or segment; "from among".
  • #* :
  • But as for me said sire Gareth I medle not of their maters therfore there is none of them that loueth me / And for I vnderstande they be murtherers of good knyghtes I lefte theyre company
  • #* 1789 , Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire , volume 6:
  • The dead bodies of the Koreish were despoiled and insulted; two of the most obnoxious prisoners were punished with death.
  • #* 2010 November 10, Michael Wood, The Guardian :
  • Many of the civilisational achievements of Mesopotamia are the product of that symbiosis.
  • # Following a noun indicating a given part.
  • #* 2005 , Naomi Wolf, The Treehouse , page 58:
  • everyone, even the ladies of the village, called the dish tzigayner shmeklekh , or “gypsies' penises.”
  • #* 2006 , Norman Mailer, The Big Empty :
  • That, I think, is the buried core of the outrage people feel most generally.
  • #
  • #* 1526 , William Tyndale, trans. Bible , Matthew XXV:
  • And the folysshe sayde to the wyse: geve us of youre oyle, for oure lampes goo out?
  • #* 1819 , John Keats, "Ode to a Nightingale":
  • My heart aches, and a drowsy numbness pains / My sense, as though of hemlock I had drunk.
  • #* 1846 , James Fenimore Cooper, The Redskins :
  • Dunning, however, is of the old school, and does not like new faces; so he will have no Irishman at his door.
  • # Linking to a genitive noun or possessive pronoun, with partitive effect (though now often merged with possessive senses, below).
  • #* 1893 , Oscar Wilde, A Woman of No Importance , IV:
  • He is just what I should have liked a son of mine to be.
  • #* 2010 August 27, Michael Tomasky, The Guardian :
  • In its flattering way, the press tried to invest this habit of Bush's with the sense that it was indicative of a particularly sharp wit.
  • Expressing possession.
  • # Belonging to, existing in, or taking place in a given location, place or time. Compare "origin" senses, above.
  • #* 1908 , EF Benson, The Blotting Book :
  • Thus, as he dressed, the thoughts and the rage of yesterday began to stir and move in his mind again.
  • #* 2003 August 20, Julian Borger, The Guardian :
  • Within ten seconds, the citizens of New York, Cleveland, Detroit and Toronto were being given first-hand experience of what it was like to live in the nineteenth century.
  • # Belonging to (a place) through having title, ownership or control over it.
  • #* 1977 October 28, The Guardian :
  • In a much-anticipated radio broadcast the Duke of Edinburgh said last night that Britain will be a grim place in the year 2000.
  • #* 2001 , Dictionary of National Biography , 2001, page 27:
  • The third son, William John (1826-1902), was headmaster of the Boys' British School, Hitchin.
  • # Belonging to (someone or something) as something they possess or have as a characteristic; the "possessive genitive". (With abstract nouns, this intersects with the subjective genitive, above under "agency" senses.)
  • #* 1933 , Havelock Ellis, Psychology of Sex , volume 4:
  • The breasts of young girls sometimes become tender at puberty in sympathy with the evolution of the sexual organs.
  • #* 2010 October 29, Marina Hyde, The Guardian :
  • It amounts to knocking on the door of No 10 then running away.
  • Forming the "objective genitive".
  • # Following an agent noun, verbal noun or noun of action.
  • #* 1611 , Bible , Authorized Version, Matthew IV:
  • And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.
  • #* 2000 , Sheila Ruth, Issues in Feminism :
  • Antifeminism has been a credible cover and an effective vehicle because the hatred of women is not politically anathema on either the Right or the Left.
  • Expressing qualities or characteristics.
  • #
  • #* 1917 , Zane Gray, Wildfire , page 35:
  • He was huge, raw-boned, knotty, long of' body and long ' of leg, with the head of a war charger.
  • #* 2004 August 11, Sean Ingle, The Guardian :
  • Still nimble of' mind and fleet ' of foot, Morris buzzed here and there, linking well and getting stuck in at every opportunity.
  • # Indicating a quality or characteristic; "characterized by".
  • #* 1891 , Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, The Boscombe Valley Mystery :
  • His frank acceptance of the situation marks him as either an innocent man, or else as a man of considerable self-restraint and firmness.
  • #* 1951 , Jacob Bronowski, The Common Sense of Science :
  • No other man has made so deep a mark on his time and on our world unless he has been a man of action, a Cromwell or a Napoleon.
  • # Indicating quantity, age, price etc.
  • #* 1903 , Frank Norris, The Pit , Doubleday 1924, page 4:
  • She was a tall young girl of about twenty-two or three, holding herself erect and with fine dignity.
  • #* 2006 , Serway & Jewett, Principles of Physics , page 428:
  • A police car, traveling southbound at a speed of' 40.0 m/s, approaches with its siren producing sound at a frequency ' of 2 500 Hz.
  • Expressing a point in time.
  • #
  • #* Charles Dickens:
  • For, sometimes of an afternoon when Miss Pupford has been reading the paper through her little gold eye-glass.
  • #* 1897 , Henry James, What Maisie Knew :
  • If there was a type Ida despised, Sir Claude communicated to Maisie, it was the man who pottered about town of a Sunday.
  • #
  • I've not tekken her out of a goodly long while.
  • # Used after a noun to indicate duration of a state, activity etc.
  • #* 2011 March 2, Grant McCabe, The Sun :
  • The cab driver's claim he was sleepwalking during the attack has already been supported by his wife of 37 years.
  • Usage notes

    * (belonging to or associated with) When applied to a person or persons, the possessive is generally used instead. * (term) may be used directly with a verb or adjectival phrase. * When modifying a noun, modern English increasingly uses noun adjuncts rather than of'' . Examples include ''part of speech'' (16th century) vs. ''word class'' (20th century), ''(Federal Bureau of Investigation)'' (1908) vs. ''(Central Intelligence Agency)'' (1947), and ''affairs of the world'' (18th century) vs. ''world affairs (20th century).

    Derived terms

    {{der3 , bill of goods , by way of , come of , in excess of , in respect of , in terms of , of a kind , of a piece , of a sudden , of age , of all , of all people , of an , of biblical proportions , of blessed memory , of choice , of color/of colour , of course , of even date , of fame , of importance , of late , of means , of note , of one's own accord , of record , of shame , of sorts , of that ilk , of the essence , of the first water , of the like , of two minds , out of , point of view , quarter of , sort of , time of day , thereof , tired of , way of life }}


  • (label) Representing (have) or (term, 've), chiefly in depictions of colloquial speech.
  • * 1926 , , The Great Gatsby , Penguin 2000, page 33:
  • "I had a woman up here last week to look at my feet, and when she have been the bill you'd of thought she had my appendicitus out."
  • * 1943 , (Raymond Chandler), The High Window , Penguin 2005, page 87:
  • ‘You must of left your door unlocked. Or even open.’
  • * 1992 , (Neal Stephenson), Snow Crash , Bantam Spectra, page 340:
  • "You couldn't of known," Livio says.

    See also

    * 's





    Alternative forms

    * thorow (obsolete) * thru

    Etymology 1

    From (etyl) *. See also thorough.


    (English prepositions)
  • From one side of an opening to the other.
  • :
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-01, volume=407, issue=8838
  • , page=13 (Technology Quarterly), magazine=(The Economist) , title= Ideas coming down the track , passage=A “moving platform” scheme
  • Entering, then later leaving.
  • :
  • *
  • *:Athelstan Arundel walked home all the way, foaming and raging.He walked the whole way, walking through crowds, and under the noses of dray-horses, carriage-horses, and cart-horses, without taking the least notice of them.
  • *
  • *:Turning back, then, toward the basement staircase, she began to grope her way through blinding darkness, but had taken only a few uncertain steps when, of a sudden, she stopped short and for a little stood like a stricken thing, quite motionless save that she quaked to her very marrow in the grasp of a great and enervating fear.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-05-25, volume=407, issue=8837, page=74, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= No hiding place , passage=In America alone, people spent $170 billion on “direct marketing”—junk mail of both the physical and electronic varieties—last year. Yet of those who received unsolicited adverts through the post, only 3% bought anything as a result. If the bumf arrived electronically, the take-up rate was 0.1%. And for online adverts the “conversion” into sales was a minuscule 0.01%.}}
  • Surrounded by (while moving).
  • :
  • *, chapter=1
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients, chapter=1 , passage=I stumbled along through the young pines and huckleberry bushes. Pretty soon I struck into a sort of path that, I cal'lated, might lead to the road I was hunting for. It twisted and turned, and, the first thing I knew, made a sudden bend around a bunch of bayberry scrub and opened out into a big clear space like a lawn.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-22, volume=407, issue=8841, page=76, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Snakes and ladders , passage=Risk is everywhere.
  • By means of.
  • :
  • *{{quote-news, year=2011, date=September 28, author=Tom Rostance, title=Arsenal 2-1 Olympiakos
  • , work=BBC Sport citation , passage=But the home side were ahead in the eighth minute through 18-year-old Oxlade-Chamberlain.}}
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-07-20, volume=408, issue=8845, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= The attack of the MOOCs , passage=Since the launch early last year of […] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.}}
  • (lb) To (or up to) and including, with all intermediate values.
  • :
  • Derived terms
    (terms derived using the preposition "through") * clear through * feedthrough * get through * go through * look through * right through * through and through * through with * throughput * throughway


  • Passing from one side of an object to the other.
  • :
  • Finished; complete.
  • :
  • Valueless; without a future.
  • :
  • No longer interested.
  • :
  • *
  • *:“I'm through with all pawn-games,” I laughed. “Come, let us have a game of lansquenet. Either I will take a farewell fall out of you or you will have your sevenfold revenge”.
  • *1977 , Iggy Pop,
  • *:I'm worth a million in prizes / Yeah, I'm through with sleeping on the sidewalk / No more beating my brains / No more beating my brains / With the liquor and drugs / With the liquor and drugs
  • Proceeding from origin to destination without delay due to change of equipment.
  • :
  • Adverb

  • From one side to the other by way of the interior.
  • The arrow went straight through .
  • From one end to the other.
  • Others slept; he worked straight through .
    She read the letter through .
  • To the end.
  • He said he would see it through .
  • Completely.
  • Leave the yarn in the dye overnight so the color soaks through .
  • Out into the open.
  • The American army broke through at St. Lo.


    * Andrea Tyler and Vyvyan Evans, "Bounded landmarks", in The Semantics of English Prepositions: Spatial Scenes, Embodied Meaning and Cognition , Cambridge University Press, 2003, 0-521-81430 8

    Etymology 2

    From (etyl)


    (en noun)
  • A large slab of stone laid on a tomb.