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I think that term "check this out" is more natural than "check out this", while in contrast I think "check out this source code" is more natural than "check this source code out";

Would you please say is my feeling/conclusion right and is there a general rule for the verb "check out" or even some verbs like that?

  • I think "check this source code out of the repository" sounds better than "check out this source code of the repository" or "check out this source code out of the repository". (Reading what I've written once again, I think "check out this source code out of the repository" might not sound so bad.) – Damkerng T. Apr 25 '14 at 13:26
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I remember the general rule as described in the book 'Swan's Practical English'. It says...

Adverb particles can go between the verb and the subject noun.

For instance,

Switch off the light over Switch the light off

Having this said,

check out the source code - is fine and looks a bit better


Now, why check the source code out does not sound okay?

Well, I had asked this question here (though not able to trace) and the crux I got from the answers by natives is splitting the adverbial particle from verb does not sound natural as the length of the sentence (clause) between them increases.

This is the reason, for longer sentences, it's better to keep check out as check out

Check out [longer phrase] - looks natural
Check [shorter phrase] out - looks natural

Though some may call it grammatical, but to others (including me!) it does not sound natural.

  • Thanks for answer."Adverb particles can go between the verb and the subject noun.", I can't get a strong recommendation from this sentence. Would you please explain more. BTW, I got the second part of your answer. – mok Apr 25 '14 at 6:31
  • As a rule, we don't usually put adverbs between a verb and its object. It's adverb+verb+object as in "I often get headaches. Or else, the order is verb+object+adverb as in She speaks English well. Now reread the answer as it uses adverb(ial) participles. It maybe helpful. – Maulik V Apr 25 '14 at 6:41
  • Indeed your comment was useful itself irrespective to my question, but I wan to say that sentence doesn't say when we can put the adverbial particle between the verb and the subject, it just says we can. – mok Apr 25 '14 at 6:47
  • You see the line there separating two things? To address this I said that in two parts! (First part) it can go but then (part two) if you stick to the tradition of separating them out, it will not look natural if the clause between them is longer. Hope it's clear now – Maulik V Apr 25 '14 at 6:50
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    Thanks. Actually, I really liked this question (+1) because I too was curious about it once before reading it from the book. – Maulik V Apr 25 '14 at 6:54

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