What's the difference between using or omitting ''out'' in these sentences?


  1. My Computer is glitching.
  2. My Computer is glitching out.

  1. The word is being censored.
  2. The word is being censored out.

  1. The game is lagging.
  2. The game is lagging out.

What's the difference?

  • Out is not needed in any of those. It's usually young guys who don't know how to write or have not been edited. The word is being censored. No need for out. Or: the word is being taken out. Also, glitching as a verb is probably new. No need for out there either or with lagging.
    – Lambie
    Apr 3, 2018 at 20:24

2 Answers 2


When out does not have a locative meaning, and it is attached to a phrasal verb, it indicates "extensively" or "completely".

Time ran out.

No more time left.

She freaked out.

She totally "lost it". She went completely crazy for a while.

The motor cut out.

The motor completely stopped running.

He phased out.

He stopped listening and paying attention. His mind was completely elsewhere.

They carried out the plan.

They took the plan to completion.

She tried out the new snowboard.

She gave the new snowboard a thorough trial, not merely a quick try.

The answer needed to be fleshed out.

The answer was lacking and needed to be made more complete.

  • 2
    To try out the board does not have that meaning of extensively or completely. It just means that person is using it for the first time or that they are conducting a "trial" of the board.
    – Lambie
    Apr 3, 2018 at 23:16
  • "to try it" means to attempt it, or to work or play with it for the first time. "to try it out" means to subject it to some evaluation, to test it out, as you said, "conducting a trial", and that is where the notions of completeness and extent come into play. It is being subjected to some "measure". You have to think of "completeness" aspectually.
    – TimR
    Apr 4, 2018 at 11:30

These three are not all the same. All of these are examples of either incorrect or at best slang English, and should not be used unless you understand the nuance and are among speakers using similar slang expressions.

In the first example, "out" is slang intensifier, possibly based on the expression "to freak out":

freak out (v): to be very excited or emotional, or to cause someone be this way:

Adding out makes the situation sound more extreme. This example also shows how various parts of speech can be "verbed* into actions:

My computer is acting weird → My computer is weirding out.

In your example "to glitch out" sounds fine as a slang expression, although "to glitch" by itself is sufficient.

In your second example, "to censor out" is a redundant variation on "to censor", probably as a reference to the verb "to rub out":

rub out (v): to obliterate by or as if by rubbing, erase.

A more natural sentence would just use "censor", since the "out" is unnecessary.

In your third example, "to lag out" is a slang expression, probably as a reference to the verb "to time out":

time out (v): 1. to end (an incomplete task) after a time limit, 2. to be terminated because it was not completed before a time limit

In this case the game is "lagging" because it fails to respond in a timely manner to remote updates. Here again the "out" is redundant.

  • Yes, but the examples are poor. Censor out is just poor English. You censor a written text by striking out stuff.
    – Lambie
    Apr 3, 2018 at 23:17

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