General Writing and Grammar Help/Get out - take out

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Question
Dear Ted:

Which of the following sentences is grammatical, natural, and correctly punctuated?

1) Suddenly, the man standing next to me TOOK OUT his pistol from the pocket and shot the sheriff.

2) Suddenly, the man standing next to me GOT OUT his pistol from the pocket and shot the sheriff.

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

Just out of curiosity, is it correct to use "and" before "shot the sheriff" or should I have used "to," that is, ".....TO shoot the sheriff"?

Thank you very much for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Which of the following sentences is grammatical, natural, and correctly punctuated?

1) Suddenly, the man standing next to me TOOK OUT his pistol from the pocket and shot the sheriff.

2) Suddenly, the man standing next to me GOT OUT his pistol from the pocket and shot the sheriff.

If both are possible, do they have the same meaning?

Just out of curiosity, is it correct to use "and" before "shot the sheriff" or should I have used "to," that is, ".....TO shoot the sheriff"?

*** Paolo, either of the sentences is acceptable in "common" or "casual" English.  However, there is a problem:  took out/got out his pistol from the pocket.  You are using too many words to express the idea.  The words also have a "conflict" with each other.

The pistol is in the man's pocket.  He removes it.  Here is the description of that action:  Suddenly, the man standing next to me took/removed a pistol from his pocket and shot the sheriff.

See, if you remove an object FROM a pocket, you are essentially TAKING or GETTING it OUT OF the pocket.  I just don't want you to say the same thing twice!

Your use of "and" before "shot the sheriff" is correct.
So, follow the sentence example I gave you, and you can use "took," "removed," or "got" in reference to the action that happens just before the shooting.

Ted  

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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