Grammar Help: want out

A co-worker of mine asked me to analyze the following sentence for grammatical correctness:

“She wants out.”

This is referring to a pet who wants to go outside. The infinitive “to go” is missing, but does it function as part of the verb or part of the object? Is “out” the object or a preposition? Is the sentence incorrect without “to go”?

I’m getting rusty. Any help would be appreciated.

[quote=“gao_bo_han”]A co-worker of mine asked me to analyze the following sentence for grammatical correctness:

“She wants out.”

This is referring to a pet who wants to go outside. The infinitive “to go” is missing, but does it function as part of the verb or part of the object? Is “out” the object or a preposition? Is the sentence incorrect without “to go”?

I’m getting rusty. Any help would be appreciated.[/quote]

That’s perfectly acceptable in Pittsburgh, where we normally omit the verb, to be.

Out is a noun.

I want asparagus. She wants out.

It’s very clear, and especially so to non-native speakers because it’s simple.

[quote=“myury”]Out is a noun.

I want asparagus. She wants out.

It’s very clear, and especially so to non-native speakers because it’s simple.[/quote]

Absolutely on the money with that explanation.

HAhahaha!

Nice, myury.

Yep. Listed in the dictionary as such.

Grammatically correct or not, I would still add “to go” for clarification. “She wants out” could be misconstrued as she wants out of a partnership or a collaboration.

It’s a cat or dog.

You could argue that in some circumstances it might be OK to say such a thing.

But if you’re not a native speaker, and you don’t know when it’s OK and when it isn’t, then my advice is to speak in a manner that is almost always correct. It’s almost never wrong to say “she wants to go out,” so why run the rsk of making yourself look stupid? If you focus on making real sentences that make sense to the listener then eventually you will become aware enough of how the language works to recognise the difference between “out of a relationship” and “going out of the house.”

That’ll be NT$100 please.

[quote=“myury”]Out is a noun.

I want asparagus. She wants out.

It’s very clear, and especially so to non-native speakers because it’s simple.[/quote]

But can you say that about place nouns? How about, “I want outside,” or “I want yard.”?

Is “to go” part of the object of the sentence, part of the verb, or both?

So it’s out you’re wantin’ is it? I’ll give you “out”! Get back in here this instant or I’ll take the back of my hand off yer face! If it’s not one thing it’s the other! If there’s any more of it there’ll be less of it!

Haud yer whisht! Ye’ll no get there any faster by runnin’.

I (subject) want (transitive verb) to go (infinitive functioning as a noun object) out (adverb describing go). It’s that simple. “I want out” only makes sense because the “to go,” or possibly “to be” is implied. “To go out” is a noun object phrase and as such no part of the verb whatsoever, aside from providing a neccessary object. Somebody was pulling your leg earlier when they said “out” could function as a noun in this case.

My apologies if this is not surreal or amusing in any way. It’s just grraamar after all.

Aye well. I’ve seen enough culchies hoakin’ around in their drawers to make ye boke. Scunnered I was the other night when I was takin’ the missus out to the flicks, and we were just getttin’ a poke from the wee man and some eejit staunin’ in the diamond havin’ a gander down his kecks cauped over into the shuck with his supper half hangin’ out of his bake.

And so on…

“Out” is an adverb here. “To go out” is a phrasal verb. Maybe “to want out” is a phrasal verb, too, come to think of it. just like “to fall down” or “to turn X on”.

[quote=“gao_bo_han”][quote=“myury”]Out is a noun.

I want asparagus. She wants out.

It’s very clear, and especially so to non-native speakers because it’s simple.[/quote]

But can you say that about place nouns? How about, “I want outside,” or “I want yard.”?

Is “to go” part of the object of the sentence, part of the verb, or both?[/quote]

I don’t think there’s any rule against place nouns. You might need an article, though.

I want the left lane. (I say this a lot, usually amidst profanity.)

I want Muhza. (In response to What stop do you want?)

I want Greece. (She wants to go to Turkey.)

Sure, Napoleon saying “I want Russia” might mean something different from you or I saying it, but that’s where context helps.

Anyway, you can’t buy a simpler S-V-O sentence. Merriam Webster (mainly US usage) even uses a comparable example in the definition for want, “4 : to desire to come, go, or be <the cat wants in> ”

So, I think the reason it sounds improper to some people is a usage thing.

Ha, I was serious. It must have been the goofy hat I was wearing :laughing:

It is true: You might be better saying I want “a” out, or “the” out, “some” outs? Doubts? I feel another poem coming on… :wink:

Lord Lucan wins.

You can say that you want out “of’” something, indeed that would also be implied, hard to get out if you are not in, and if you are in you are neccesarily “in” something. So “out” is functioning as an adverb, not a preposition, and certainly not a noun. To go out then is a phrasal verb in the infinitive.

I’m hungry. I want a tuna salad sandwhich on whole wheat toast, oh, and an out. Thanks.