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Thread: Make out

  1. #1
    Fucking Classy lains's Avatar
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    Default Make out

    Help... A teacher just asked me about the use of the words "make out" (yeah initially I thought that too...)

    BUT its in regards to eg. "I cant make out..."

    So:
    "I cant make it out." is fine.
    "I cant make out it." Is wrong. I know its wrong but I cant explain why. Is it that thing to do with not ending sentences in a preposition or somethingorother?

    Also...
    "I cant make out what he is saying." is fine.
    "I cant make what he is saying out." fine or not?
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

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    "I can't make out it."

    Thank you Shirley English:

    Wrong because the whole action is "making it out" not just "making out" or "making it". That's where the confusion about the kissing came from and the imperative structure.

    "Can't make out what he is saying." seems to me to be improper. It doesn't sound bad, just like gonna or wanna doesn't, but I think it should actually be, "Can't make what he is saying out."

  3. #3
    Fucking Classy lains's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Nmuei
    "Can't make out what he is saying." seems to me to be improper. It doesn't sound bad, just like gonna or wanna doesn't, but I think it should actually be, "Can't make what he is saying out."
    See now I think the way you prefer it sounds improper and too long, like the words make and out are too far spaced apart.

    But meh, I needed this answered yesterday...
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."

    Hunter S. Thompson.

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    Just tell 'em to substitute "make out" for "understand" and things should take care of themselves.

  5. #5
    Senior Member doublenatural's Avatar
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    'make out' is a phrasal verb, which are a law unto themselves. But the same rules apply to a lot of phrasal verbs eg 'take down'

    Random examples
    "We'll take down that poster from the wall." is great.
    "We'll take that poster down from the wall." is also great.

    So nouns can go after the phrasal verb or inside the phrase. But pronouns can't.

    "We'll take it down from the wall." is correct.
    "We'll take down it from the wall." is just plain wrong.

    Try it with any pronoun. It still sounds wrong to put the pronoun after the phrasal verb. Of course, there's probably exceptions. There always are. I just can't think of any at this present moment in time.

    If anyone asks why, just tell 'em "because". Or ask them why they use ga instead of wa and watch the look of consternation appear on their face.
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