Only one out of twenty students in my class passed the test.

I think the usage "out of" in the sentence above I created is correct, but I am unsure if the following usage is correct:

This sketch shows only the first floor out of my house.

I am afraid that using "of " instead of "out of" may cause misunderstandings as my house has only the first floor.

2 Answers 2


out of can be used to specify part of the whole and your first sentence is an example of this.
However the second sentence is incorrect as the first floor is the only floor and therefore is not part of the whole, it is the whole. You also do not need the word only for the same reason as it implies that there are other floors. Thus you could say

This sketch shows the [first] floor plan of my house.

Unless it is essential for some other reason, there is no need to include the word first either. Or you could call it a single story house

This sketch shows the floor plan of my single story house.

which tells the reader that there is no other floor in the building.
But note, in either case, the usage is of not out of

  • Could you advise me on whether the following usage is correct?: "Out of the USA and the U.K, I have only been to the U.K."
    – rama9
    Jan 21, 2022 at 3:29
  • 1
    @rama9 I would say that out is unnecessary, just say Of the USA and the UK, I have only been to the UK or if you must use out of then I've only been to the UK out of the UK and the USA but that sounds cumbersome and you would expect the context to be more like I've only been to the UK out of all the countries in Europe . In other words out of is more commonly used to express a choice from multiple items, not just 2 when it's an either / or situation. Jan 21, 2022 at 10:54

This sketch shows only the first floor out of my house.

I would say of sounds more natural than out of because the sentence is about a physical part-whole relation: a floor is a structural part of a house (whether or not there are multiple floors). Thus it is similar to the windshield of my car.

If you describe the floors more explicitly as a GROUP, then out of works: "Out of the floors of my house, this sketch only shows the first floor." Just of is OK here too. Of course, referring to the plural floors of the house implies that there are multiple floors.

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