Just want to understand how to use this structure

freeze somebody <--> out (of something): (informal) to be deliberately unfriendly to somebody, creating difficulties, etc. in order to stop or discourage them from doing something or taking part in something

so, "out" can be brought to before "somebody" right.

But I am not sure whether

freeze me out of the conversation= freeze out me of the conversation = freeze out of the conversation me

2 Answers 2


Freeze out is a phrasal verb, i.e., it consists of two parts (here, a verb and an adverb), and it has an idiomatic meaning, to exclude. Such constructs may take an object, which may precede or follow the adverb:

In important decisions, don't freeze out your spouse.
In important decisions, don't freeze your spouse out.

But when the object is a personal pronoun, it can't take the position following the adverb:

I'm your spouse. Don't freeze me out.

"Don't freeze out me" is unacceptable. Check here.

  • Someone should have explained this to Morten Harket of A-Ha! with that whole "Take On Me" thing. Commented May 31, 2016 at 8:18
  • @MaxWilliams Although those lyrics are basically gibberish in English, I’ve always theorised it was a deliberate verbatim translation from Norwegian, where ta på mig means ‘touch me’, and ta mig på means ‘put me on [like clothes]’. I think they were aware of the proper order of constituents in English; they just chose to ignore it. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 13:20
  • @JanusBahsJacquet well, "Take on me" is a more interesting title, which makes the viewer/listener do a sort of double take, so works well from that perspective. In the lyrics, Harket does actually prove he knows the difference, as the chorus goes "Take on me, take me on", as if he's explaining the title. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 13:29
  • @MaxWilliams That's what I meant—I've always seen the ‘reversed repetition’ as reflecting the Norwegian meanings, where it would make perfect sense. Sort of an inside joke for about 20 million people. Commented Sep 28, 2016 at 13:31

Convention is to order it like so - "freeze me out of the conversation." You cannot say "freeze out me..." Or "freeze out of the conversation me" - it might very, very technically not be incorrect grammar, but it's a bizarre inversion of the sentence.

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