What is the meaning of "it" in the sentence, "Don't take it out on me" ? Can I use the sentence without it? If possible, what is the difference between "Don't take it out on me" and "Don't take out on me?

1 Answer 1


To "take (something) out on someone" is an idiomatic expression that means "to be angry at someone for something that isn't their fault." For example, suppose I had a bad day at work and I come home and yell at my kids. Then someone could say that I am "taking it out on my children."

("Taking it out on someone" is, of course, unfair, but that's a different discussion)

"It" is a simple pronoun that means "your frustration with whatever is making you upset". It has no specific meaning but like any pronoun relates to something else previously stated, or implied by context.

A: Damn it! I can't get this jar open. Could you stop standing around and help me?!
B: Hey, don't take it (your frustration with the sticky jar) out on me!

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