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I was just studying the various meanings of 'off' on http://english.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/off and I stuck up at just the second example sentence:

She dashed off to her room.

The meaning of 'off' this sentence is an example of is, "away from the place in question; to or at a distance".

If I omit 'off' from the sentence, it seems okay to me:

She dashed to her room. [She ran in hurry to her room.]

What does 'off' do here?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

"She dashed off to her room" means that she went away from the place where she was and which isn't mentioned in the sentence, and dashed to her room. So with off there's the added meaning of going away from a particular place which isn't included in "She dashed to her room".

EDIT upon comment: There's the phrasal verb dash off which means write or draw something very quickly. Its use is totally different from the use of the preposition off described above.

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Now I dashed off a comment to you, apparently from nowhere. Haven't I? –  Kris May 1 '12 at 9:44
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Ah, @Kris, idiomatic use of dash off is different to literal use, as I'm sure you know. –  Matt Эллен May 1 '12 at 9:49
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