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Suppose the context is a cable TV company and an end user having trouble watching cable TV. This phrase:

A technician will be out to your house.

is very common. The phrase "will be out to your house" is also common in the context of water companies and electrical power companies, but not so in standard writing. In standard writing, "will be out to your house" seems to be replaced with "will go out to your house". Am I wrong?

  • Interesting....now that you mention it, I think that's true - at least in the NW corner of the U.S. – Adam Dec 22 '14 at 23:42
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The original poster is correct about this distinction.

The difference might be that when an ordinary person says they will "go out to your house", they will probably be making a special trip. Whereas when a business says someone "will be out to your house", they are probably going to combine the trip to your house with trip(s) to other people's houses, and they care mainly about the scheduling of the time at your house.

Also, from the point of view of the business, the serviceman "will be out of the office" while he is travelling to your house, while he is at your house, and while he is travelling from your house. The business cares about where the serviceman is, and where he will be.

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If my friend Jim emails me and reminds me that he has a party at his house at 7pm, it is perfectly natural, idiomatic, correct, and grammatical if I email him back and say:

I get off work at 7pm, so I will probably be out to your house around 7:30.

The use of be out to basically is a long way of saying at. And either your sentence or mine can substitute at for be out to and maintain the same meaning.

Actually the use of out is deictic, specifying from the point of view of the telephone representative that your house is in the "location" of out. That is, the telephone rep is in a building and the techinician will arrive where you are located, which is out.

If I say, 'I'll be down to your house by 7pm,' then from my point of view, or location, your house is down from me.

Same for 'I'll be up to your house, over to your house...

Some utility companies may even use at instead of be out to. I don't recall a utility using be out to with me recently. Instead

Someone will be at your house between noon and 5.

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