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I'm a U.S. speaker, and I'm editing a text using Australian speech. The way they are using this term "out the front" sounds like the way U.S. English would say "out front", meaning in the front part of a building or some sort of enclosed location, but I can't find this anywhere, and I want to make sure.

e.g.

The buildings were all the same, with the same colour roofs and with gardens out the front.

Thanks for any help you can provide, Michelle

  • Welcome to ELL! "I'm editing a text using Australian speech" -- are you trying to make the text more "Australian-looking" by adding AuE expressions? Or are you trying to make it clearer to the American reader by removing said expressions? – CowperKettle Dec 29 '15 at 18:13
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    Hi, thanks for the welcome! And oh, I should have thought to say that more clearly. I'm trying to conform to Australian speech, so if it's acceptable Australian dialect to say "out the front" I would want to keep it. I just want to make sure it's not a typo. Thanks. :) Michelle – Michelle Aguilar Dec 29 '15 at 18:17
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    I'm not an AuE speaker, but I did find this page from The Endless Playground: Celebrating Australian Childhood which uses "out the front" several times, where I (an AmE speaker) would probably say "out in the front yard". – apsillers Dec 29 '15 at 18:29
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    Thank you apsillers! That's perfect! I did not find that in my Google searches. Much appreciated. – Michelle Aguilar Dec 29 '15 at 19:06
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    I'm an AmE speaker from SE Pennsylvania, and around here the local kids could easily say "I'll meet you out the front of your house after school". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Dec 29 '15 at 19:29
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The use of the determinant the differs between AmE and BrE (upon which AuE is based, though Aussies may differ in opinion).

In your example, out the front(AuE) means in front of(AmE)

...with gardens in front
...with gardens out front

would be two AmE equivalents.

When a person is sick and admitted to a medical facility, an AmE speaker would say

They are in the hospital.

a BrE speaker would say

They are in hospital.

An AmE speaker would say

In the future

A BrE speaker would say

In future

to an AmE ear, it will sound like something is missing.

Another example is in road signs, AmE road signage will say

North

BrE road signs will say

The North

  • TRomano, I can see that, although I have never heard it said, but somehow with the "of the house" added, it sounds closer to natural to me. Peter, thank you for that definitive answer! I'll file away those other examples you gave for later. I'm sure they'll come up eventually. – Michelle Aguilar Jan 2 '16 at 0:22

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