Which of the following two phrases correct: "I expect better of you" or "I expect better off you"?

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  • 3
    I expect better off you is not an idiom I have ever heard. – Alex W Jul 16 '15 at 18:13
  • Neither had I. It was a correction I received from a British English speaker. – Trixie G. Jul 16 '15 at 18:36
  • 1
    @TrixieG. Perhaps a British English speaker with one of their many obscure regional accents? Unless he's just tried to steal your watch, and found it to be a lower quality item than the rest of your apparel suggests. – Wayfaring Stranger Jul 16 '15 at 19:24
  • @TrixieG. Were you corrected in the same context as posed in your question? "Better off" is a fine combination of words in certain situations, though not in this case. – Etheur Jul 16 '15 at 20:37
  • Are you sure the word in question is off rather than of as spoken with an accent and/or speech impediment? (@WayfaringStranger, that's awesome: "Your wallet's empty! I expected better off you!") – Adam Katz Jul 16 '15 at 20:39

If you mean "I expect you to do better", then "better of you" is correct.

Usually, "better off" describes the outcome of a situation. For example: "you would be better off if you stopped working now and get some sleep" or "we are better off not knowing how the sausage gets made."


While both are grammatically correct, I've only ever heard "better of" in this context.

I can maybe think of an example where "better off" would be correct. Perhaps if I picked your pocket and only found Monopoly money, I might then say "I expect better off you", but that's a pretty huge stretch.

The simplest explanation is that whoever corrected you was wrong.


(a) "I expect better of you" the usual phrase.

(b) "I expect better from you" a valid alternative to (a)

(c) "I expect better off you" a substandard or possibly regional version

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