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This question is related to the idiom It took everything/all I had (within me)

Is it grammatically sound to place a second object after the verb TAKE? To clarify what I mean, below is the sentence I want to construct:

He was very aggressive. It took [two policemen] [everything they had] to subdue him

Or is it incorrect to do so?

He was very aggressive. It took [everything the two policemen had] to subdue him.

Please explain.

On top of that, I would like you to provide a link to a dictionary or an article for reference, preferrably to The Free Dictionary, but any would be helpful.

Many thanks in advance.

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  • The first does sound more natural, but there's nothing wrong with the second grammatically. Feb 23 '17 at 10:37
  • Wait, did you mean everything/all cannot be an object?
    – user178049
    Feb 23 '17 at 10:37
  • @TeacherKSHuang You mean it took two policemen everything.. sounds natural?
    – user178049
    Feb 23 '17 at 10:39
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    Correct. "It took two policemen everything they had to subdue him" sounds like the more common construction of this idiom. Feb 23 '17 at 10:40
  • Yeah I should clarify that I meant object pronouns.
    – JUNCINATOR
    Feb 23 '17 at 10:40
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He was very aggressive. It took [two policemen] [everything they had] to subdue him

This version implies inner qualities: emotions, feelings, judgment, physical strength, trainings, presence of spirit...

He was very aggressive. It took [everything the two policemen had] to subdue him.

This version implies clothes, wrist watches, jewelries, shoes, wallets...

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