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Four friends were playing a game of monopoly. A girl ran out of cash and was out. She went outside for a while, only to find them still playing. This she says:

You guys still playing? I was out like two hours ago.

You guys still playing? I got out like two hours ago.

Now this question is about "colloquial" English, because I know that it should be "you guys are still playing" and not "you guys still playing?". So is the the use of "get out" natural in that

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Both sound fine to me, although they do represent different perspectives on being "out" of the game. In a game like Monopoly, one doesn't just "go" out -- one is "kicked" (or "sent") out by the player who takes all your money. However, when the girl says

I got out of the game.

it implies that she did so more or less voluntarily. It's not incorrect English, but it does suggest she views the circumstances differently. Meanwhile

I was out

is somewhat more ambiguous. It describes the situation, but does not imply whether the reason was voluntary or involuntary.

Consider the following three examples:

Amanda: Do you still work for that company that you said you hated?
Barry:

  1. No, I got out of there months ago (I quit)
  2. No, I was kicked out of there months ago (I was terminated)
  3. No, I was out of there months ago (ambiguous)

Side note: The use of "like" in "like two hours ago" is colloquial, and common in my local dialect (Southern California / US). I can't say how common it is elsewhere, but I try not to say it too often when I travel to other parts of the world.

  • @It'saboutEnglish You can't compare the relative likelihood of two expressions that have different meanings. If they had the same meaning, I could make a guess which sounds more idiomatic, but in this case it all depends on what the girl is trying to say. – Andrew Aug 16 at 23:23
  • @It'saboutEnglish I think I've answered the question about as well as I can, and I don't really have anything else to say about it. – Andrew Aug 19 at 4:35
  • > We were quite a ways back stuck in traffic yesterday. _____________________________________________ Actually it is about a few people who take the same bus each day and the bus travels the same route each day. Yesterday they got to their stop late because they were held up by traffic and today they got to their stop on time and thus said this, as at this time yesterday they were stuck in traffic. – It's about English Aug 25 at 5:23
  • Does this sentence sound natural to you? – It's about English Aug 25 at 5:24
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I believe "got out" would be preferable. Her losing the game was a definitive moment -- there is a single time at which she ran out of money, lost, and departed. To say she "was out" doesn't refer to a specific time, only a state of not playing, which is vague, though not incorrect.

They're both fine, but saying:

"You guys still playing? I got out like two hours ago."

flows a bit better, as it is referencing the specific moment from which these two hours have progressed.

  • There are a few people saying that "get out" shows that it was her choice, it was voluntary. I looked it up on other forums and it is confusing me.... I actually read "get out" in a meme. (Percy Jackson; a character by Rick Riordan), but when I looked it up, a few natives said that it doesn't sound natural, while others found it natural.... I'm confused.. So does it sound okay? – It's about English Aug 15 at 16:57
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    I wouldn't call it voluntary at all. The way it's used in sports, for example: "The (baseball) runner got out when he was tagged by the third baseman." If you left by your own agency, I would phrase that rather as "I left like two hours ago," or "I quit ..." – Seymour Guado Aug 15 at 17:00
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    Then again, an "out" is a thing in baseball already. But generally speaking, I believe that if she decided to leave, she would be better off using a verb that clearly indicates that. – Seymour Guado Aug 15 at 17:01
  • So "get out" sounds natural, right? Is it used in this sense? I mean have you ever heard people around you using it, or have you used it yourself? (In similar context) – It's about English Aug 15 at 17:24
  • Does "go out" sound better than"get out"? "I went out an hour ago." Or "I got out an hour ago". – It's about English Aug 15 at 18:30

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