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Pedants' corner

"Look out the window."

7 replies

PenguinVox · 10/02/2016 01:16

Is it OK to write "Look out the window." Or should it be "Look out of the window."
I'm currently living in America and the children's books here are written in the first style. The missing "of" really bugs me, especially since they put an extra "of" in sentences such as "Get off of the bed."
I've been telling my daughter that it should be "Look out of the window." but I don't know how to explain why.^^ Or am I wrong?

OP posts:
lordStrange · 10/02/2016 01:20

Yes! I find this sort truncated speaking/writing odd too. And yes American picture books always do this.

'Knock the door'. It's like an itch you can't scratch. Grin

FastWindow · 10/02/2016 01:41

I agree and lordstrange the fact that you accidentally missed the 'of' from your post makes it quite poetic...

PenguinVox · 10/02/2016 02:49

Thanks for the replies! I'm glad you know what I mean.
lordStrange It's not just American picture books, it's also chapter books!
Can you explain why the "of" is needed in "Look out of the window." but not in "Get off of the sofa."?
I'd like to explain it to my DD.

OP posts:
PenguinVox · 10/02/2016 02:53

Haha FastWindow, I thought the same thing about the missing "of" from lordStrange's post! Very poetic!

OP posts:
prism · 10/02/2016 09:42

It’s because of the lack of noun cases in English- in lots of other languages the noun changes to express whether you’re doing something from, to or from the thing in question. English has none of that, and we have prepositions all over the place to clarify what a verb is doing to what noun. So it’s largely a matter of style- in extreme examples no-one would think of saying “I’m going to home”, but equally you’d definitely say “I’ve come from home”, as if you left out the “from”, the sentence would mean something else. But most of the time it’s simply a convention as to how we dress up the verb. “Look out the window” is perfectly OK as it is, but if it didn’t have “out” you might be looking at the window, not out of it. And we do say “out of it”, not “out it”, hence the usual preference to say “look out of the window”.

PenguinVox · 11/02/2016 18:02

Thanks prism.
So is the "of" in the sentence "Get off of me," acceptable or not?

OP posts:
CocktailQueen · 12/02/2016 21:15

Not in UK English - get off me is right.

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