Is a phrase like "go out from the kitchen", which has two prepositions in a row, appears to be good English, and might be paraphrased as "go out, and go from the kitchen." but I have doubts about something like "go out in the kitchen."

Can "go out in the kitchen" be paraphrased as "go out and go into kitchen"? If this is so, could a meaning of "go out and go home" be shortened to "go out home"?

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    "Out" is not a preposition, at least in standard Englishes. – Colin Fine Dec 18 '12 at 16:27
  • @ColinFine Thanks for pointing that out [sic]; I'd completely overlooked it. Now I understand why my answer was so hard to write. – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 18 '12 at 16:37
  • Wouldn't "go out" be a phrasal verb here? – Mechanical snail Dec 18 '12 at 17:06

Your premise is faulty.

In the first place, “Go out from [place]” all-by-itself is not idiomatic in Standard English (though I would not be surprised to hear that it is used in dialect). If you Google Books “go out from” or “went out from” you will find that almost every hit is either an allusion to a passage in the King James Version of the Bible or an old translation of some other work executed under the influence of the KJV. I imagine that the KJV translators, and their great predecessor Tyndale, were striving to represent a Greek or Hebrew idiom as literally as possible.

In the second place, the ordinary idiom is go out of [place] (“She went out of the kitchen”), in which out of is a compound preposition, like “up in heaven” or “over by the barn” — think of the CCR song:

Down on the corner, out in the street ...

There’s no call to parse this as an ellipsis involving two distinct phrases or clauses; it simply means “She left the kitchen”.

“Go out in the kitchen” is likewise a single, non-elliptical clause. “Jane, could you go out in the kitchen and fetch me my shears?”

“Go out and go home” is different. Here you have two clauses representing two consecutive motions, out of one place and thence to another place. But you cannot apply ellipsis because go out and go home are not parallel constructions: “out” is [an adverb acting as] a component of a phrasal verb, “home” is [a noun acting as] an adverb.


Go out from the kitchen is possible, but most native speakers would say Get out of the kitchen. Go out in the kitchen is also possible, but only in some contexts. It’s hard to see what Go out home would mean, and I’d be surprised if it was ever used.

Verbs like go out from and go out in are phrasal-prepositional verbs. They consist of a lexical verb followed by an adverbial particle and a preposition. The most frequent are get out of, get on with, get back to, go up to, come up with and look forward to.


How about voices out in the hall, this is a noun phrase with no verbs or adjectives, so no adverbs? Unless 'are' has been hidden?

  • voices are out in the hall
  • "voices from out in the hall" ,, is that 3 preps in a row?! – Adam Stone May 11 '14 at 0:16

No, you can't.

A native speaker of English would not normally write Go out in the kitchen. or Go out in my home. If you write these sentences, most native speakers will not understand what you mean.

  • I read it from "The catcher in the rye",after Holden talking with Mr. Antolini.In article is writed-He went out in the kitchen and I went in the bathroom and got undressed and all. So that why I think it should be normally to use. Thanks – bigbean Dec 18 '12 at 4:01
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    You should have mentioned the Catcher in the Rye quote in your question! Holden's dialect isn't standard English. I don't know Holden's dialect well, so I can't help you with this question. – Pitarou Dec 18 '12 at 4:11
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    I have to disagree: "Go out in the kitchen" is perfectly ordinary. And Holden Caulfield's speech is Standard American for an educated teenager: "Most critics who glared at The Catcher in the Rye at the time of its publication thought that its language was a true and authentic rendering of teenage colloquial speech." - quoted on Wikipedia from Donald P. Costello (October 1959). "The Language of "The Catcher in the Rye"". American Speech (American Speech, Vol. 34, No. 3) 34 (3): 172–182. – StoneyB on hiatus Dec 19 '12 at 19:28
  • I defer to your superior knowledge. – Pitarou Oct 24 '13 at 2:20

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