What's the difference between the two? Which one should I choose in a sentence like this:

I was waiting outside of the house, but, again, impatience won (out). So I went inside to get her.

  • 1
    add some more context. What's this? I'm not getting! – Maulik V Apr 30 '15 at 5:49
  • @Maulik V How about now? – alexchenco Apr 30 '15 at 6:02
  • what makes you think adding 'out'? Do you see any specific need? – Maulik V Apr 30 '15 at 6:05
  • @Maulik V I saw it on Google: google.com.tw/… – alexchenco Apr 30 '15 at 6:32
  • won out seems a strange use to me. I'll certainly not use it! – Maulik V Apr 30 '15 at 6:36

You can use both versions, they will convey a similar meaning.

According to The Free Dictionary the verb win has the following meaning:

  1. To achieve victory or finish first in a competition.
  2. To achieve success in an effort or venture.

As you can see here we need the intransitive usage.

Adding the preposition out it becomes a phrasal verb with the meaning:

To succeed or prevail.

| improve this answer | |

The preposition "out" with certain verbs expresses the idea of completeness or completedness.

When the scaffolding gave out, the workers fell.
Cooler heads did not win out, and the situation degenerated into violence.
The explorers ran out of provisions and had to eat their dogs.

| improve this answer | |
  • 2
    But run out and won out don't necessarily follow the same rules. Sometime the out can be struck (like in the O.P.'s example), but that's not the case in your sentence about starving explorers. – J.R. Apr 30 '15 at 14:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.