try to jump off the buliding


1.The crowd witnessed the lady try to jump off the building yesterday.
2.The crowd witnessed the lady trying to jump off the building yesterday.

I saw the first sentence in the newspaper, but I wonder what’s the difference between the two?

In the first sentence, the crowd saw the whole process. In the second sentence, the crowd only saw the part where the lady was making an effort to jump off the building.

Just personal opinion. Hope you could get a better answer from someone else.

Still appreciate it. Thanks.
Make sense though. ^

This could be considered a bit off but I’d say that there should be “of” and not “off” in the sentences.

Hi Rickyrocky,

W has hit the nail on the head with the description of the difference between ‘try’ and ‘trying’.

On the other matter there is no question about the necessity to use ‘off’ and not ‘of’ with ‘jump’, as has been suggested.


Sorry, I beg to differ.
You jump off something. It’s a fixed expression.
On occasion people say “jump off of a building”, but that is often frowned upon by grammarians.

jump off?


In my several on-line dictionaries, there is no that phrasal verb.

One jumps and not does not jump off.
An alarm sets off and does not set.
A plum can fall off a tree.

I have jumped from here to there.
She has suddenly jumped from the top of the building.

I see jump off as a wrong English.



That’s because it isn’t a phrasal verb. Tort described it as a fixed expression, an idiom.
jump off - to leap off something. (Of is usually retained before pronouns.) Rachel lost her balance and jumped off the diving board instead of diving. Better to jump off than to fall off.
quote from

Incidentally, you mean ‘There is no phrasal verb like that’.

That rather depends on whether you are standing or sitting on something when you jump. If you are, then you might jump off it.
jump off - jump down from an elevated point; “every year, hundreds of people jump off the Golden Gate bridge”
quote from

You can set an alarm. - prime it for action.
An alarm can be set off - be triggered into sounding.

That is very doubtful as I don’t imagine that you get many plums balancing on the tops of trees. However, a plum can fall from a tree.

No one is arguing that ‘jump from’ is incorrect.

She can also jump off the top of the building.
‘From’ implies destination is important. ‘Off’ implies the leaving point is the important factor.

As indicated by several people in this thread, the English is right, your understanding is what’s wrong, as illustrated by the examples you provide and by your earlier suggestion that ‘of’ should be used, which would make a grammatical nonsense of the original sentence.

Incidentally, ‘wrong English’ should not have a preceding article.


Believe me - I’ve been using English for a good many years now. You can jump through,over,under, into. across,from, out of and so on and so on and I can assure you, you can jump off the top of a building, if that’s what you want to do.

Look again at some of your constructions:

I suggest you think about putting those into correct English before you start denying anything else.


I don’t deny anything this time.
I simply said that I couldn’t have found “jump off” in any sentence in any of my on-line dictionaries or a serious book and therefore I saw “jump off” incorrect form.

In Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, there are more than 50 examples of sentences in which the verb jump is used. But never with “off”.

And also they explain the meaning of the word jump

jump ~ to [color=green]push yourself suddenly [color=green]off the ground and into the air using your legs

jump ~ push off

In McMillan Dictionary they say jump off is a phrasal verb and words can jump off the page. (Not related to a person)

In Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, they offer jumping-off point as a starting point at the beginning of a journey.

Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary says jump-off is additional part of a race for horses that have the same score in a competition.

And as a slang, jump off could be a casual sexual partner or girlfriend.

Of course, I have found on You Tube video results for “jump off” as jump off a building to make a suicide, but…


There is no ‘but…

Dictionaries provide definitions of words and not necessarily of phrases. You should not expect to see every verb and preposition combination in a dictionary. You cannot say it doesn’t exist just because it isn’t there.

There have now been a number of occasions where you have argued that because you don’t like something or don’t use something it cannot be right. With respect, if you continue learning English following this pattern, then you will never acquire the living language. I know that to do so is your goal, and that this is the reason you pull statements apart, but you really need to open your mind a little more when you seek advice. You aren’t just being too prescriptive - you are simply wrong. Your argument is indefensible against the views of any competent native English speaker, let alone a grammarian such as Alan.

For your further information:

  • ‘jump-off (hyphenated)’ is a different term from ‘jump off’ (non-hyphenated);
  • with regard to words jumping off a book, this is simply a different usage from people or animals jumping off something.

I don’t know the slang term. Perhaps it is American. My guess is that you found it in the urban dictionary.

In short:
It’s okay to misunderstand something and make mistakes. No-one is infallible. However, once a few people who know far more about the subject than you can possibly know at this stage in your learning start saying things like, “I can assure you that the usage is correct!” you need to start accepting that. Particularly where you are trying to share your advice with other learners… which you sometimes do really well!