Is there such a rule:
get out of the car = get out the car
out the bag = out of the bag???

Recently I've come across some British native speaker video, he wrote idiom: "let the cat out the bag". I commented that there should be the preposition "of". But he answered "You'll see that 'of' preposition dropped in all sorts of 'out of' expressions. E.g 'Get out the car!'".

So now I don't understand. Does this "rule" really exist and I can drop "of" in 'out of' expressions?

  • 3
    It is not a rule. Prepositions are sometimes dropped, but it is ungrammatical to do so. If you are learning English, you should be aiming to learn good English, not bad English.
    – Mick
    Dec 20, 2017 at 14:53
  • 1
    Thanks! Then that guy is a bad teacher, because his content is on English language. How could he even dare write that way? He's got many views.
    – Pavel Afonin
    Dec 20, 2017 at 14:57
  • Preposition deletion is idiosyncratic, varies with region, and causes native speakers quite a few problems. See this thread for examples. The 'out vs out of' question is especially complex. It is rare for the 'of' to be dropped in the UK, whereas it is commonly omitted in some cases in the US. These two ... Dec 20, 2017 at 23:17
  • questions address this (see John Lawler's comment, in particular). Dec 20, 2017 at 23:20

2 Answers 2


These are different phrasal verbs. "To get out of (something)" means, variously,

  1. to exit ("She screamed at me to get out of the house")
  2. to avoid ("You can get out of the meeting by telling the execs that you have a report due")
  3. to remove ("Why were you out running in the rain? Get out of those wet clothes!")
  4. to benefit ("You can get a lot of money out of this deal, if you get in early)
  5. to persuade or interrogate ("Fred, see what information you can get out of the suspect")

and others. Meanwhile, to "get out (something)" can mean:

  1. to leave ("The police stormed the office and told us all to get out")
  2. to clean ("This new detergent will help get out even the toughest stains from your clothes")
  3. to take out ("Please get out the flour and the sugar from the pantry?")
  4. to reveal ("If word of this gets out, we're in a lot of trouble")
  5. to disseminate ("Help us get out the word to vote this election")

and others.

Because these verbs have different meanings, it's important to memorize them as if they were separate verbs, and learn to use them in the appropriate context. Yes, certain (British) dialects do drop the prepositions from these phrasal verbs, but unless you also use the other phrases characteristic of the dialect, it won't sound right and can be confusing to the listener.

As in your example, "Get out the car!" to mean "quickly exit the vehicle" makes sense when issued in the right context. By itself, however, it sounds like you're asking me to take out the car from something like a garage, so we can go for a nice drive.

  • The examples you posted are ok. They are, of course, right. I understand them, but in my opinion they don't explain or have any connection to the second part of your answer about dialects and dropped prepositions, as the usage of "out of" with dropped "of" is wrong, and I know it now, thanks to Mick's answer. The guy who used it as dialect or in a wrong way, whatever, was an English teacher vlogger, he had posted English lessons. An experienced teacher, as it had seemed to me. And it wasn't about context, he wrote a well-known idiom. Dec 20, 2017 at 16:01
  • @PavelAfonin I think you're missing the point. If you understand the difference between these phrasal verbs, and you know all the possible standard meanings of "get out" you'll recognize that "Get out the car" is dialect. Otherwise you'll think it's standard English, something you ought to know, and perhaps imitate.
    – Andrew
    Dec 20, 2017 at 16:44
  • I couldn't care less about what some sloppy YouTube English teacher says is "correct" -- it's not my job to police the internet. I'm just here to offer what I think is good advice.
    – Andrew
    Dec 20, 2017 at 16:44

As Andrew pointed out, "get out" has a ablative use (get out of the car, get out of my sight, get out of Dodge), meaning literally to remove oneself from some particular place or location, and various accusative uses (get out your handkerchiefs, get out a stain) and intransitive uses (Get out!)

But to say "get out the car" (eliding the "of" -- meaning exit the car, not to get the car from a garage) is dialect. It is pretty common in BVE, and I have heard it in rural AmEn and BrEn, but it is distinctly non-standard.

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