General Writing and Grammar Help/Send, send off, send out

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Question
Dear Ted:

Are there any differences among "to send someone to a place," "to send someone OFF to a place," and "to send someone OUT to a place"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

As always, many, many thanks for your valuable help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Are there any differences among "to send someone to a place," "to send someone
OFF to a place," and "to send someone OUT to a place"?

If so, when should I use each of them?

*** "To send someone to a place" is the common expression.  The other two are just variations of it, and most of the time, "OFF" and "OUT" are completely unnecessary.

My mother sent me to the store to buy bread.
You can also say that she sent me OUT and she sent me OFF, but those extra prepositions are not needed.  All three sentences would mean the same.

There are some rare, special instances in which you might want to use OUT and OFF.

EXAMPLES:

My parents sent me OFF to summer camp for two months.  [In this sentence, OFF is not needed, but you can use it for emphasis -- that your parents wanted to get rid of you for two months!]

Despite the terrible blizzard with the icy winds, my mother sent me OUT to the store.  [The special circumstances in this sentence are the weather conditions.  By using OUT, you are stressing the fact that you had to leave home, facing the bad weather OUTSIDE.]

Unless there is a extraordinary reason to stress the "sending," use "to send someone to a place."  In most cases, adding OFF or OUT simply is redundancy.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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