Which is proper:

Take your hands out of your pockets.

Take your hands out from your pockets.

Is there any difference in American English and British English?

P.S. Also reading the comments - is there a preffered form for singular or plural, or they are the same?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Aug 5 '16 at 16:14

This question came from our site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts.

  • 3
    Both are possible, but where I'm from, NYC (i.e. I speak American English), the strong preference would be for of. The from sounds British, or old-fashioned, or stuffy, or something. – Dan Bron Jul 21 '16 at 12:20
  • 1
    The of version is idiomatic, as confirmed by this Ngram. – Lawrence Jul 21 '16 at 12:21
  • I also think so - that both are possible, but I was not sure how to differentiate the use. Can you answer so I can approve. – Bogdan Bogdanov Jul 21 '16 at 12:25
  • @Lawrence: Actually, your NGram is for singular "pocket", which I'd guess mainly reflects the more figurative usage of It's not like you paid for it out of your own pocket. But the idiomatic preference is the same for OP's "literal" context. – FumbleFingers Jul 21 '16 at 12:37
  • 1
    No, your answer is ok, @Lawrence. I just want to be sure that I use it properly. – Bogdan Bogdanov Jul 21 '16 at 13:07

Both versions would be well understood, but "Take your hands out of your pockets" is idiomatic based on Ngram's corpus.

Regarding plurality, if the hands were initially in a single pocket, use the singular, pocket. If they were in separate pockets, use the plural, pockets.

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.