1

Can we use the word "from" (again) instead of "out of" in the following sentence? Does it not make sense if we use or it was not used in order to avoid repeating the word from ?

...Here's the formal definition from the ABC Institute out of their book called...


How about this sentence

...Here's the formal definition from their book called...

  • 1
    Both sentences are ok, not repeating words if an alternative is available is often done but not mandatory. A question of style, not grammar. In short: You are absolutely right. – Stephie May 13 '15 at 16:27
  • 'out of their book' sounds very awkward to me. If you want to avoid the double 'from', how about 'in their book' ? – gone fishin' again. May 13 '15 at 16:55
  • @Tetsujin actually the first sentence is a original sentence from a video in English. – Mrt May 13 '15 at 17:07
  • @Murat - people also say "off of the telly" even though it's become a national joke in the UK ;) – gone fishin' again. May 13 '15 at 17:15
  • 1
    It's one of those things that, in speech, no-one would even notice. It's only when written down that you start to analyse it – gone fishin' again. May 13 '15 at 17:24
1

Yes, it’s grammatically correct to repeat the word “from”, like this:

Here’s the formal definition from the ABC Institute from their book The World’s Best-Loved Formal Definitions: …

However, as you probably guessed, it sounds a little clumsy. English provides many alternative ways to say the same thing. Here are a few examples:

Here’s the ABC Institute’s formal definition from their book De Ratione Definiendi Æquivocando: …

Here’s the formal definition from the ABC Institute, found in their book From Genus, From Differentia: …

Quoting A Child’s First Book of Definitions, here’s the ABC Institute’s formal definition: …

More generally, here’s how to think up alternatives to fix a repeated or unclear preposition: (1) see if you can use the possessive case; (2) think of something more specific to say in place of the preposition. As the examples of “found” and “quoting” illustrate, the new word will often be a verb. That suggests another strategy: (3) think of a verb.

1

Grammatically, it is perfectly fine to replace 'out of' with 'from' in this case. If you were to do so in conversation, it's likely that no one would care or notice. In writing, we often try to avoid repeating a word in that way, and will use different phrasing or a synonym to avoid it. This is purely a stylistic decision, however.

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.