Is the following sentence grammatically correct?

"I just hope he walks out clean from the probe"

If not, what is the correct form?

EDIT: The context of the above sentence is a situation where you wish someone comes out of an investigation (say, by the police) being acquitted.

  • It's grammatically correct. Saying whether the meaning of that grammatically-correct sentence is the meaning you want the sentence to have, would need more context. – Jon Hanna Feb 11 '14 at 17:39
  • The context is added as an edit. Please get back if you think it's not right. – valyrian Feb 11 '14 at 17:46
  • acquitted means he's found to be innocent (or at least, not provably guilty). The sentence you give would be a grammatically correct way of saying you find they are acquitted. – Jon Hanna Feb 11 '14 at 17:49
  • Sorry for that. My bad. – valyrian Feb 11 '14 at 18:05

For reasons I'm not sure I can fully articulate, I would suggest if you insist on using all of those words the following arrangement:

I just hope he walks out from the probe clean.

But I don't think that idiom is necessarily the best-suited expression to go with probe. There are two reasons. First, walks away from, at least to me, is two idioms:

  1. to end negotiations without a deal:

Speaker John Boehner walked away from the debt talks with President Barack Obama.

  1. to survive something:

Canadians walked away from a car crash.

Clearly, you're hoping to use the expression with the latter meaning. But in general, this meaning applies to one-time tragic events or things that you don't have to undergo for a long time.

I take a probe as google defines it as a an investigation into a crime or other matter to refer to something that might take weeks, i.e. an inquiry. Consequently, the image gets kind of mixed -- if you are hoping that he can abandon the probe if a little unclear, then this is fine. If you are hoping that he can survive the probe, the metaphor may not be adequate due to the ambiguity in its meaning. To put it another way,

The investigator walked away from the probe.

is a truly ambiguous sentence. It's caught between whether the investigator is the one pursuing the probe who has given up on its success and whether he is the one being probed in which case he escapes without harm. My sense is that the form possibility is much higher.

As such, I would recommend saying something else:

I hope he makes it through the probe.

Here, I'm assuming that what you want to emphasize is your hope that he survives the ordeal -- not that he can abandon it.

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  • Surviving is not the context (I have added an edit to the question). I am looking for a meaning where he/she (the one being investigated) sits throughout the probe and is given a clean chit. – valyrian Feb 11 '14 at 17:46
  • What you describe is surviving and making it out unscathed, but you cannot use the phrase you selected to mean that. My answer explains why. – virmaior Feb 11 '14 at 23:26
  • I just want to convey that the person being investigated should not be guilty. Whether he survives the probe or not is not going to be emphasized in that sentence. – valyrian Feb 12 '14 at 7:15
  • I think you're really failing to grasp something here. The word surviving has the meaning that he is not found guilty / not punished in this type of context. make it out clean has the exact same meaning here. Or we could use exonerated. All three can mean the same thing, but makes it through is the better idiom, because make it out clean has other meanings that would be bad for what you want to say. – virmaior Feb 12 '14 at 7:30

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