My buddy and I are not native speakers of English and we are currently in disagreement over what Tony meant when he said "When I drift off, I'll dream about you."

I think he meant "As I go to sleep for the last time, I'll dream about you." My buddy thinks he meant "As I drift off in space, I'll dream about you."

What do you think?


4 Answers 4


You are correct, he was referring to losing consciousness.

The clue here is that he said this immediately after he was talking about how he will run out of oxygen in a day.

When people run out of oxygen, they lose consciousness, which is similar to falling asleep, except without ever waking up.

From Merriam-Webster:

Definition of drift off


: to fall asleep


You're the one that's right.

"Drift off" in this context means sleep and whatever come beyond that.


He means to die. Drifting off to die.

Given the context of what he is saying its clear he means death.

Drifting off to a never ending sleep.


Well, drift off actually means to deviate from a path, here, it means deviating from a normal life, please note that running out of oxygen implies deviating from normal life, here it stands for becoming unconscious , falling into a permanent sleep maybe.

  • No. "Drift off course" or drift off to the left, etc., means to deviate from the path. "Drift off" would only ever be interpreted by a native speaker as 'fall asleep' or worst case scenario, fall unconscious or even die. There's a small play on words if you're also in trouble on a space ship - that you are also drifting off into space, but I think that meaning is secondary even if [knowing the Stark character] it contains intentional irony.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 7, 2018 at 17:14
  • needed to take it from English language's perspective to MCU's perspective, nothing wrong in giving info ! Dec 7, 2018 at 18:18

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