In this video clip from a Few Good Men, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vyMggFe9WRQ&t=29:

Tom Cruise: Of course.

Jack Nicholson : Corporal will take you by personnel on your way out to the flight line...

What is "take someone by something"? I searched many dictionaries but couldn't find a definition for this phrasal verb.

1 Answer 1


He says 'Corporal will take you by personnel' - this means 'Corporal will take you by the personnel department' or 'escort you to' the personnel department - to pick up the forms needed for the transfer.

That's American English.

In English, you would say 'Corporal will take you TO Personnel'.

'Personnel' is shorthand for 'the Personnel Department' - the department that organises all the admin to do with the personnel or employees.

So 'take you by' means 'escort you to' or 'accompany you to' - to show you where it is.

Take you by - also has a sense that you'll just drop in 'drop by' - for a short visit. You pass by, grabbing the form - and then you're out and on your way.

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