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I have been struggling to understand the usage of 'out of' vs 'from' vs 'with'. I'm used to use 'from' or 'with' frequently.I often find some sentences which I think should be replaced with'from' or 'with'. While surfing through the dictionaries. I have found the following sources which describe'out of':

Source: https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/out

Indicating the source or derivation of something; from:

‘a bench fashioned out of a fallen tree trunk’

I get a lot of enjoyment out of teaching.

Confidence enables you to win, and by winning you get enjoyment out of the game.’

Birds make nests out of branches or twigs. (Can't I use 'with/from' instead of 'out of')

Source:http://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/out

COME FROM SOMETHING used to say where something comes from or is taken from

A lot of good music came out of the hippy culture in the 1960s.

The money is automatically taken out of your bank account every year.

Can I use 'from' instead of 'out of'? 'From' also refers to the source that something comes from or obtained from.Right ? Why to use 'out of' instead of 'from' ?

Again,

What is the use of out of in the sentence "Someone had torn several pages out of her diary." Can't I say "from her diary"?

  • In your last question, why use out of/from at all? :) She torn pages of her diary! – Maulik V Jan 13 '17 at 7:27
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out of and from are pretty much interchangeable, when you are talking about materials something is made of, or an abstract concept that is derived from some thing or activity.

With is not quite the same, as it suggests adding something rather than deriving something. You could not, for example, say

I get a lot of enjoyment with teaching - not natural

but you can say

Birds make nests with branches or twigs.

because the birds are adding twigs to the nest, rather than for example shaping a twig to make a nest.


Someone had torn several pages out of her diary

In my opinion, this sentence uses the the compound verb tear out. You could use from, but the original version is much more specific.

tear out means to remove something completely by pulling hard, for example you can talk about somebody tearing their hair out.

On the other hand, tear means to pull apart, or to pull pieces off. So,

Someone had torn several pages from her diary

could mean:

  • somebody pulled the pages out completely
  • somebody pulled the pages apart, ripping the pages into small pieces
  • somebody pulled pieces off the pages, for example ripping off the top corner from each page.

You could, of course use from together with tear out, like this:

Someone had torn out several pages from her diary

  • Why original version is much stronger? – yubraj Jan 13 '17 at 11:14
  • @yubraj, I have updated my answer – JavaLatte Jan 13 '17 at 13:53
  • Thank you. I'm still confused in some sentences. For examples, can I use 'from' instead of 'out of' in these sentences like this 'I get a lot of enjoyment from teaching. Birds make nests from branches or twigs. Confidence enables you to win, and by winning you get enjoyment from the game.’The money is automatically taken from your bank account every year. – yubraj Jan 13 '17 at 14:23
  • Like I said in my question post, I am habituated using 'from' all the time. If 'out of' is correct and Idiomatic, could You tell me why 'out of' should be used instead 'from' ? – yubraj Jan 13 '17 at 14:28
  • @yubraj, there is no occasion where you should use out of. If you say from and you mean constituted from or derived from, you can use out of as an alternative to from. – JavaLatte Jan 14 '17 at 2:33
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As JavaLatte said, "out of" and "from" are indeed interchangeable. "Out of" is a more colorful way to describe something. It gives a physical sense to the description. Like in your example, "someone had torn several pages out of her diary", though you could use "from" and it would be perfectly grammatically correct, using "out of" gives it more of a sense that you are physically ripping it off, which is a better, more colorful use of language.

As for "with", it is a lot less interchangeable simply because with has so many diverse applications. In your example "and by winning you get enjoyment with the game" using "with" would be incorrect because it doesn't convey the sense that the enjoyment is deriving from the game itself. It makes it feel more like the enjoyment is just simply coming alongside the game. Like if you were to eat pizza with chocolate milk, the enjoyment of eating pizza isn't coming from the chocolate milk. They are both separate enjoyments alongside each other.

  • Thank you for your answer. But I have put my comment below the answer of @javalette, That's what I still want to know about. – yubraj Jan 13 '17 at 15:51
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    @yubraj To answer your question, yes you can use "out of" instead of "from" in all of your examples. Using either one really is just preference. The difference between the two words is negligible. It's really no different than the difference between "happy" and "cheerful". – Eddie Kim Jan 13 '17 at 16:27
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    @yubraj Though I might add a simple rule. Almost all cases where you use "out of" can be replaced with "from". But not all cases where you use "from" can be replaced with "out of". For example, "the canoe was made out of wood" can also be written "the canoe was made from wood". But in the sentence "The mall is a few miles from here", you cannot say "The mall is a few miles out of here". The word "from" has many applications whereas "out of" is limited to mostly things talking about deriving something from another source. – Eddie Kim Jan 13 '17 at 16:34
  • @yubraj One rare case where you can't replace "out of" with "from" is this sentence: "I ran out of cash". Saying "I ran from cash" completely changes the meaning. But these cases are few and far between so I wouldn't worry about it. – Eddie Kim Jan 13 '17 at 16:36
  • @EddieKim: that's because run out is a compound verb: the out is not part of the expression out of. – JavaLatte Jan 14 '17 at 2:30

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