I needed 10 watches but I realised that I had only 9. So what should be used:

1.) I am out one watch.

2.) I am one watch out.

3.) I am one watch short.

4.) I am short on one watch.

And if we're talking about a person:

1.) We're one player short.

2.) We're short on one player.

3.) We're out one player.

4.) We're one player out.

So what sounds natural #1,#2,#3 or #4 in both the contexts?


1 Answer 1


I am out one watch.

This doesn't fit your situation; I might use this if someone got into my gym locker and stole my watch.

I am one watch short.
I am short one watch.

Both of these work for the situation you describe (notice that I removed the "on" from #4).

Your #2 sounds more awkward than idiomatic.

Likewise, if we needed nine players for a baseball team, and we only had eight, we could say either one of these:

We're one player short.
We're short one player.

However, the phrase:

We're out one player

would make more sense if a player was on the team but then couldn't play for some reason (perhaps due to injury, or a red card).

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