I came across this sentence:

A tiny filed mouse had been out in the wood that day gathering nuts.

Does had been out in the wood mean had been out from the wood? If so, what is the difference between them?

In addition, does "A tiny filed mouse had been out to the wood" make sense?

  • 1
    There seems to be typos. "A tiny field mouse had been out in the woods that day gathering nuts." Source?
    – user3169
    Apr 17, 2016 at 18:03
  • It is from a short story "Mr.Puff blow's hat" written by Alf Proysen. Apr 17, 2016 at 18:14
  • 1
    @user3169: I agree about field, but in the wood is fine in BrE.
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 17, 2016 at 20:45
  • @ColinFine Oh, I'm AmE, that might explain it. The only "wood" I know like this is Winnie the Pooh's "Hundred Acre Wood", but that is based on an English forest, so I guess I am out of the woods.
    – user3169
    Apr 17, 2016 at 22:26
  • 1
    @user3169: Even in American English, a wood is not completely unheard-of; consider Frost's "Two roads diverged in a yellow wood". But yeah, it's definitely not usual.
    – ruakh
    Apr 17, 2016 at 23:51

1 Answer 1


If you say that somebody is out it can mean that they are not at home. The tiny field mouse was not at home, it was in the wood all day gathering nuts.

About people, a woman might say

my husband is out at work all day


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