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Dear Teachers,

I saw the following sentence:

Someone took off the lids to the jam pots.

My question is, why is "to" used here instead of "of"?

Please advise.

Lcchang
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Hi,

Someone took off the lids to the jam pots.

My question is, why is "to" used here instead of "of"?

The easiest answer is to say that 'to' indicates 'access' to something in a context like this. eg

The door to the kitchen.

The keys to the car.

Best wishes, Clive
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Got it!! Thanks.

lcchang
Maybe this sentence will add to your understanding.

The plumber took off the nozzle to the faucet.

Come to think of it, I don't know why it cannot be "of." It is just that whenever we see the phrase "took off something of something," instead "of" we usually used "to." Help me too.
That is the magic of English language, isn't that?
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Hi, Clive

How can the word "jam" function as an adjective? What word should I use to refer to the jar of jam?

a jam pot sounds more concise but isn't sure of its validity.
Hi,

I always say, and hear, a jam jar. Possibly this may be BrE, I don't know.

Best wishes, Clive
to' indicates 'access' to something

Or belonging to, with belonging left out because the relationship is not strictly one of ownership. (?)
In these expressions there is only a mild family resemblance to belonging to, but it seems to be enough in the mind of the English speaker to allow to instead of of in these expressions.

Another way of looking at it is that in this context to means go(es) with or is/are associated with.

the lids that "go with" the jars
the key that "goes with" the door

CJ

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