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Which should be used: of or off?

It is a branch of/off the main tree.

The actual context is program code branches and in that context the plural branches is not suitable.

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closed as general reference by MετάEd, Cameron, tchrist, Lunivore, Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Oct 10 '12 at 13:46

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You can be in a branch of the main tree. This would imply that you are in a branch that has already been created.

You can also branch off from the main tree. This would imply that you are creating a new branch and separating from the main tree.

The ODO provides a couple of examples from mainstream usage:

Sophie was in the branches of a tree eating an apple

the road branched off at the market town

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+1 In the context of programming: (1) I'm working in a branch of master (2) Why don't you create a branch off master and work there –  David Laing Aug 17 '12 at 8:44
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