1. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa

    Move out the way

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by The-Joker, Nov 15, 2009.

    Hey guys,

    On one of my reviews I suggested the writer omit the 'of' in a sentence like "she rolled out of the way."

    Another forum user commented, saying they were under the impression, "she rolled out the way" would be gramatically incorrect and asked for clarification. Since I've never read a grammar book before and have no recollection of ever looking into this matter, I decided to do a little searching. Unfortunately, I couldn't find anything emphatic on the net.

    I see now the query post has been deleted, so I'm posting the question here in the hope a more educated member will shed some light.
     
  2. Mister Micawber
    Offline

    Mister Micawber Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009
    Messages:
    55
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    Yokohama
    'Move out of the way' is the standard use of the phrasal preposition. 'Move out the way' is sometimes heard in casual conversation and is considered very informal or substandard.
     
  3. ManhattanMss
    Offline

    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    14
    What was your reason for suggesting the omission of "of"? Maybe you're coming from a colloquial vantagepoint, or maybe it simply meant something other than what we're likely to assume.

    "She rolled out the way" means (grammatically) that she unfolded a path, in a sense. Like, "We were all very confused at this point till she 'rolled out the way,' which suddenly made everything perfectly clear."

    If "she rolled out of the way," it means (grammatically) that she rolled herself out of a pathway of some kind to make way for something else. So, it depends on meaning and context.

    Something like "Get out the way," as I've heard it used (often), is usually an ungrammatical colloquial expression that means "Get out of the (or "my") way." Such an expression could easily give dialogue a particular flavor, but it wouldn't be a grammatically correct way of asking someone to "move so I can get past," e.g., in exposition and probably not used in narrative form (unless the narrator was speaking colloquially).

    "Get out the way" isn't grammatically incorrect if you're using a horrendously awkward way of insisting that someone better produce the "way" from a roadmap or some instruction he might have in his pocket, as in "So now we're lost here, so you better 'get out the way' and show us how to figure out where we went wrong" (or something like that).

    So, I think the answer to your question isn't necessariy straightforward.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa
    So effectively you're saying that a phrase like:

    "The boy rushed out the room."

    would be gramatically incorrect?
     
  5. ManhattanMss
    Offline

    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2009
    Messages:
    626
    Likes Received:
    14
    Yep.

    But it might be a colloquial way of expressing it.
     
  6. DragonGrim
    Offline

    DragonGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Iowa
    Yeah, in dialogue it would be fine, but I wouldn’t use it in narrative. I use that kind of speech sometimes. And, in other contexts, be careful where “of” is left out, for it can change the meaning of a sentence drastically.

    “Hey, you, get out of here!” – get lost

    “Hey, you, get out here!” – show yourself
     
  7. Wreybies
    Offline

    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    18,901
    Likes Received:
    10,090
    Location:
    Puerto Rico
    Precisely. The of is a preposition in this sentence which cannot grammatically be omitted. This kind of syntax might well be a go in dialogue if the speaker has this particular speech mannerism, but it is not grammatically correct at all.

    I lived for a few months outside of the Pittsburgh area where it is very common to hear people drop connector verbs in casual speech. It would be quite common to hear someone say, "The car needs washed," but this is an ungrammatical speech mannerism that is common to the area. I might include it in dialogue if my character where from that area, but never in my narrative.
     
  8. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    I think you might, perhaps, be confused by the common phrasing of "threw it out the window," "tossed out the window," "look out the window," etc. . . which are grammatically correct, though I couldn't tell you exactly why in technical terms. Inserting an "of" there would make it awkward and wrong, just as omiting the "of" in your sample sentence would make that awkward and wrong. I suppose the window example is similar to "clean out the grease trap, John." If you stick an "of" in there, it would sound kinda like "clean (your way) out of the grease trap, John. Rescue isn't coming."

    But there are other sentences, other times I have wondered, such as, "in all my life, I never. . ." In that case, it seems perfectly grammatical to insert an "of" or leave it out, either one. . . and so I tend to leave it out.

    The litmus test is to read it out loud and see if it sounds natural to me. . . but that might not work so well for you if you have a colloquialism-heavy dialect.
     
  9. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa
    Thanks guys. I think I'm beginning to understand now.

    "I rushed out the room"-----wrong

    "I rushed out the door"------right

    I think.
     
  10. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    Exactly.
     
  11. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa
    Thanks Kas. Well this has been an education.
     
  12. Cogito
    Offline

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    May 19, 2007
    Messages:
    35,935
    Likes Received:
    2,043
    Location:
    Massachusetts, USA
    It is certainly possible to overanalyze these things, especially in English. There is no accounting for idioms, which often defy all the conventional rules of the language.
     
  13. HorusEye
    Offline

    HorusEye Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2009
    Messages:
    1,215
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    Denmark
    Just my theory:

    You're occupying the room, so you rush out of it. You're not occupying the door but is on one side of it, so you'd rush out through it. Therefore, the complete sentences would have been

    "I rushed out of the room"

    and

    "I rushed out through the door"

    and for some reason through can be omitted while of cannot.

    "I rushed out of the door" sounds completely wrong to me, because it leaves an image of someone being inside the woodplanks of the door itself. Do you agree?
     
  14. SHorgan
    Offline

    SHorgan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    So can we say the broad rule is use 'Out of' if there is movement from within an object to the outside, and 'Out' when there is movement through an object? So, "Get out of the way" indicates movement from within 'the way' and "Go out the window" indicates movement through the window.
     
  15. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    My thoughts exactly. Or they were standing within the doorway and then rushed out of that area. But then you'd say, "I rushed out of the doorway" to be clear.

    And then the sentence is pretty much the same as, "I rushed out of the way," since you're talking about the doorway.
     
  16. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    yup!

    you go out the door, to go out of a room...

    the reason for the difference is that in 'go out the door' the word 'through' is understood... so, to be wordily precise, 'you go out through the door, to go out of the room'...
     
  17. DragonGrim
    Offline

    DragonGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Iowa
    “Ok, man, if you want leave, go out there, out the kitchen, and out the room, and then you’ll be outside.”


    Makes sense in that context.:)

    Who would have thought this thread would have been so educational?
     
  18. dgraham
    Offline

    dgraham Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Okaya, Nagano, Japan
    EDIT: SHorgan already posted this. Dur hur hur... Sorry guys.

    Kas, good point! Basically, my understanding is that when an object is inside a place and going out, you need either of or from. Because when you "throw something out the window" it is only passing through the window, not originating from inside the window, you don't use of or from.

    If for some reason, you are standing in the window, you could say "I threw it out of/from the window", but otherwise if it is only passing through, you can use "through" or just nothing.
     
  19. SHorgan
    Offline

    SHorgan Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2009
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    I think that this edit would be correct by the general consensus on this thread, although would through be better used here? "...Go out there, through the kitchen, out of the room, then you'll be outside." My reasoning being that you start on the outside of the kitchen and end up on the outside.
     
  20. DragonGrim
    Offline

    DragonGrim Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2008
    Messages:
    818
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Iowa
    That’s why I omitted “of”. “Through” is implied in a sentence like: “Look out the window.” – Look out through the window.

    I don’t think I’d write something like that. Just exploring the rules, doing what Cogito said: overanalyzing – which I do often.
     
  21. mammamaia
    Offline

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2006
    Messages:
    19,316
    Likes Received:
    1,014
    Location:
    Coquille, Oregon
    in that example, however, 'through' isn't understood in re either 'kitchen' or 'room' as it is with 'window'...
     
  22. architectus
    Offline

    architectus Banned

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,796
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    Ca
    And what do you think sounds better?

    She dove off the cliff.
    She dove off of the cliff.
     
  23. dgraham
    Offline

    dgraham Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2009
    Messages:
    102
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Okaya, Nagano, Japan
    The only difference to me is in pacing. The first one sounds like a rushed action, like maybe an escape from something because it is shorter whereas the 2nd one sounds like there was more consideration put into the action.
     
  24. Kas
    Offline

    Kas Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2009
    Messages:
    567
    Likes Received:
    18
    Location:
    The ***hole of the world
    I usually omit the "of" in cases like that, so "dove off the cliff" works better for me. I don't care for the unnecessary back-to-back "f" sounds either.
     
  25. madhoca
    Offline

    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,527
    Likes Received:
    88
    Location:
    the shadow of the velvet fortress
    She dived from the cliff.
     

Share This Page