I've recently come across both 'wide off the mark' and 'wide of the mark'. Could anyone tell me whether there's any reasoning behing cutting one 'f' off? Is it correct at all?

Thanks a lot

Full Member108
Hi, Lenka,
They both work. I think "of" is more common. It's like "clear of the mark."
"Off" would be more like "far off the mark."

Grammatically, I think "wide of the mark" is adverbial, as in "I placed it west of the mark."
"Wide" answers the question "where," and the prepositional phrase "of the mark" modifies "wide."

With "wide off the mark," I think the prepositional phrase answers the question "where," and "wide" is adjectival, modifying the prepositional phrase.

I guess this sounds like a lot of BS.

Best wishes, - A.
Veteran Member20,911
Moderator: A super-user who takes care of the forums. You have the ability to message a moderator privately should you wish. These users have a range of elevated privileges including the deletion, editing and movement of posts when needed.Proficient Speaker: Users in this role are known to maintain an excellent grasp of the English language. You can only be promoted to this role by the Englishforums team.
Live chat
Registered users can join here