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I still can't get it out of my mind, how she reacted to it all the other day.

I still can't get out of my mind how she reacted to it all the other day.

Are both these sentences grammatically correct? Is inserting the it in the sentence necessary?

  • You should have said "without the 'it' and without the comma". – user3169 Mar 1 '17 at 6:46
  • I'm not a native speaker but the first sentence sounds natural to me although you need to take out the comma. Actually it sounds like a clever sentence like She doesn’t like it when you are so quiet. it in your first sentence acts as an empty object since your object is too long and it sounds awkward to say I still can't get how she reacted to it all the other day out of my mind. You put _it there to fill in the object place which anticipates the real object at the end of your sentence. – Yuri Mar 1 '17 at 7:24
  • To this native speaker, the version with it sounds incorrect. Either it or how she reacted is the object of the sentence, but it doesn't really make sense to repeat it. – stangdon Mar 1 '17 at 13:21
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I still can’t get how she reacted to it all the other day out of my mind.

That’s a version without the ‘it’. However, I think it reads awkwardly, because there is so much between the get and the out of my mind.

A good way to remedy this is to use the ‘it’, as you did in the sentence in your question. However, I might punctuate it using a dash:

I still can't get it out of my mind – how she reacted to it all the other day.

Your second sentence could be improved, I think by removing the to it all; it adds little meaning and clutters up the sentence:

I still can't get out of my mind how she reacted the other day.

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I still can't get it out of my mind, how she reacted to it all the other day.

I still can't get out of my mind how she reacted to it all the other day.

Both are grammatical and idiomatic. In the first, the how-clause is an adjunct, apposite "it". In the second, the how-clause is a complement.

With the verb phrase "to get {something} out of one's mind", and others like it, it is legit to move the {something} out of the phrase and into a complement when that something is not a simple direct object, like "hat", but a clause:

I couldn't get out of my mind her hat. odd, like "Throw mama from the train a kiss"

I couldn't get her hat out of my mind. normal

I couldn't get out of my mind how she insisted on wearing that hat.normal

I couldn't get it out of my mind—how she insisted on wearing that hat.normal, the cleft emphasizing that which it was difficult to forget

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