Imagine you want to tell someone about a time something happened in the past or that will take place in the future. You imagine using a time marker should be enough, but what if you need to be a little more formal? That’s where “as of” comes in.
It is correct to use “as of” to indicate when something begins. “As of” is an idiomatic preposition you follow with an adverb of time, such as “tomorrow” or “today.” Additionally, you can follow it with a noun indicating time, like “July” or “summer.” It cannot function as a standalone phrase, but you can use it at different points in a sentence.
To learn more about using this formal idiom, read on.
What Does “As Of” Mean?
“As of” is a phrasal preposition and an idiomatic expression that indicates when something starts or ends. In a more literal sense, it means “on,” “since,” or “from” (source).
However, “as” and “of” have completely different meanings as standalone words. Within the longer phrase, “as” is a conjunction pointing to when something happens, while “of” is a preposition expressing a relationship to its object.
Combined, “as” and “of” create a phrasal preposition that indicates something is happening and points to a specific time word.
- As of tomorrow, I am officially on holiday.
- I’ve been living in a new city as of July.
- As of September 2021, I am a board-certified teacher.
As you can see in the previous examples, there are different ways in which you can use “as of.”
How Do You Use “As Of”?
Generally, “as of” appears at the beginning of a sentence as a phrasal preposition. This is because it provides information about when something is taking place.
“As of” can also function as a subordinating conjunction; it can start a dependent clause in a sentence. Dependent clauses do not begin with the subject but contain a subject and verb afterward.
As a subordinating conjunction, “as of” tends to head up adverbial clauses like the following:
- As of the time we began playing board games, Derek had never won.
- As of the day you signed, your responsibilities have been in effect.
- I won’t charge until project completion as of the new agreement we signed Friday.
“As of tomorrow” cannot stand alone as it does not have a subject, verb, or predicate. That’s because it is a phrasal preposition kicking off a prepositional phrase that ends with “tomorrow.”
A prepositional phrase begins with a preposition (or a multi-word preposition we consider one unit or phrasal preposition) and ends with a noun. Since “as of” is often followed by a time noun, it is usually a prepositional phrase.
- As of this morning, a new company retains ownership.
- It has been a long time, but as of today, we are officially out of debt.
- As of yesterday, I’m a published author.
Again, you’ll notice that you must follow “as of” with some kind of adverb of time or a time marker. It can also refer to the concept of “time” in general. This specifies the moment that something is happening.
Also, “as of” is not linked to a specific tense. You can use it with past, present, or future tense, but we are more likely to use it with the present tense. This is because it provides information about something that is most appropriate for the present tense.
It also helps to change the time markers or adverbs to show when the situation took place.
- As of tomorrow, I will be a fully licensed pilot.
- As of today, I am a fully licensed pilot.
- As of yesterday, I am a fully licensed pilot.
The usage of punctuation is also significant when using “as of.” As a phrasal preposition, it sets off the phrase. However, the comma should only appear after the adverb or time marker noun.
When Can You Use “As Of”?
You can use “as of” at the start or the middle of a sentence. However, in any scenario, you may not place a phrasal preposition like “as of” at the end of a sentence.
If the time marker is important, then “as of” should appear at the start of the sentence. If the time marker or noun is secondary, then “as of” will appear in the middle of the sentence.
- As of this morning, we’re engaged.
- As of January, we’re changing the way we do things.
- As of the article’s publish date, Twitter has been abuzz.
In the above sentences, the phrases have to start with “as of.” This is because they do not make sense standing alone but create a complete sentence when joined with the independent clause.
- We will be merging into a new company as of next month.
- I will be starting my new job as of Monday.
- The act has passed as of last week.
When “as of” appears in the middle of the sentence, it does not always require a comma because “as of” often functions as a preposition.
In What Context Can You Use “As Of”
“As of” is a phrase that can appear in both written and verbal communication. However, it is a relatively formal phrase that is most likely to occur in corporate or academic environments.
Since its primary function is to point out when something is taking place, you can often use it in a declarative sentence to provide information.
When you use it to provide information, you’ll often follow it with a noun that refers to a specific date, day, or time.
- As of March 15th, the results will be available.
- As of the time of publishing, there has been no response from the source.
- As of Friday, the company will be closing down.
When you use it more idiomatically, you’ll often follow it with an adverb of time, such as “now,” “tomorrow,” “tonight,” or “yesterday.”
- As of today, I’ve been working here for exactly three months.
- As of now, you will receive payment for overtime.
- As of tonight, everyone will need to clock out timeously.
The main thing to understand is when exactly to use “as of.” Because it has three specific meanings – on, since, or from – the context of its usage will change.
- On – The retreat begins as of June 20th.
- Since – The retreat has been going as of June 20th.
- From – The retreat is going as of June 20th.
Ideally, you should use it to show when an event or situation starts and continues from there.
When Not to Use “As Of”
There is some discussion around the idea that “as of” can show when an event or situation ends. “As of” should expressly point to when an event starts. When you use it to show that an event ends, it creates ambiguity.
For example, let’s take the sentence, “As of January 16th, they decided to annul their marriage.” We could argue that the sentence makes sense because they chose to annul the marriage, and the union’s dissolution continues from there.
However, the issue is that the marriage does not continue to annul after January 16th. The event has occurred and concluded and cannot continue after the date.
Therefore, use “as of” to show an event that will continue after that specific time and not something that will stop applying once the event is over.
As mentioned before, this usage does exist. For example, some argue that “as of” can apply to situations where an event has stopped, but its results continue. We do not consider this lousy grammar because the term’s usage has become ubiquitous.
Another issue is using past perfect tense when using “as of.” For example, let’s take the sentence, “Charlie had bought 25 chocolate bars as of April 3rd.”
The above sentence creates ambiguity as we don’t know if Charlie bought the chocolate bars on the 3rd of April or whether he had bought 25 before April 3rd. Both could technically be true based on the context.
Therefore, to avoid ambiguity, you can use other words or phrases instead.
What Can You Use Instead of “As Of”?
Instead of “as of,” you can use “on,” “since,” or “from.” Using them may slightly change the sentence’s meaning as these words are a little more specific, while “as of” is more general and can indicate a broader period.
- As of tomorrow, I will be a married man.
- From tomorrow, I will be a married man.
- On the 5th of July, I will be a married man.
- As of the 5th of July, I will be a married man.
The best way to distinguish them is to use “from” with an adverb of time or a noun, but you can only use “on” with a noun.
Another suitable synonym is “since.” You can use “since” with adverbs of time and nouns because it functions in the same way as “as of.” This is because it shows when an event begins and continues after.
- As of last night, I haven’t been able to sleep.
- Since last night, I haven’t been able to sleep.
- As of August 12, I have been working at a new job.
- Since August 12, I have been working at a new job.
While using “since,” you should carefully write in the past perfect tense. This allows you to be specific about the action that started in the past and continues to the present moment.
Using “As Of” in a Full Sentence
As we mentioned previously, there are different ways you can use “as of” in a sentence. Ideally, it should appear at the beginning of a sentence to indicate when something is happening. “As of” functions as an idiomatic preposition connecting to a time or an event.
- As of the November 2020 count, the man has earned 34 votes.
- As of tomorrow, we will implement the new system.
- As of the summer term, we will be updating the curriculum.
Can “As Of” Stand-alone?
The main thing to remember is that “as of” never appears at the end of the sentence, and it cannot stand alone without an adverb of time or a noun that indicates time.
Since “as of” is a prepositional phrase, it needs some extra information to point to and link a subject. Even as an idiomatic expression, it cannot stand alone.
To find out more about how “as of” can function next to specific prepositions of time, you can read “As of Now: Meaning and Proper Usage” for more information.
When you use verbs, you often have to accompany them with a preposition that provides information about how the verb links to the object (source). Unfortunately, there are no patterns or methods to understand which verbs link to specific prepositions, so learning the preposition’s purpose is best.
The most common prepositions are the ones that indicate a literal position – “in,” “on,” “above,” “behind,” and “below.” These prepositions place verbs within a space surrounding the object; hence, they are called prepositions of place.
- He sat on the chair
- The cat crawled in from the rain.
- Cameron stood above them.
This is closely related to the prepositions of location that indicate where a particular object is related. Another type of preposition is prepositions of direction. These prepositions show the direction in which something is moving. Examples of these are “toward,” “at,” and “in.”
Sometimes, it can be challenging to differentiate between when to use “in” and “at.” The perfect way to find out is by reading “In Home or at Home: Which Is the Correct Form?” This article is sure to correct any confusion.
We also have prepositions of spatial relationships. This preposition relates to the prepositions of direction as it tells us how an object moves and how it moves away or toward another thing. Examples of this are “against,” “opposite,” and “beside.”
Finally, we have the prepositions of time. These prepositions show when something is happening and link to the phrase “as of.” Examples of prepositions of time are “on,” “from,” “to,” and “after.”
- We will be meeting from 10 AM.
- On June 16th, the country changed forever,
- I’ll be flying out the day after tomorrow.
This article was written for strategiesforparents.com.
It is important to note that “as of” is not a well-known phrasal preposition but provides a similar function by indicating when something is taking place. This is when it is considered idiomatic (source).
“As of” is a fascinating phrase that has multiple functions. You will mostly use it as a phrasal preposition in a prepositional phrase that communicates time. However, you may sometimes use it as a subordinating conjunction for an adverbial clause.
Hopefully, as of now, you understand the functions of “as of” and how to use it appropriately.