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    #1

    Pry information out of someone

    According to Cambridge Online dictionaries, Oxford Advanced learner's dictionaries and many others, 'pry' is an intransitive verb and is usually followed by 'into' and an 'object. A native English teacher wrote to me ... "pry information out of him".

    I was then wondering if it can be used in this way - pry as a transitive verb + information + out of + someone.

    Thanks a lot

  1. Champleon's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    Yes, you can. Mainly in AmE. BE prefers "prize"

  2. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    Yes.

    The literal meaning in American usage is use leverage to open or remove: Use this knife to pry the oyster open.

    Pry from and pry out of mean extract from by force or remove from by force. Both can be literal or figuratve:

    - Pry the nail from of the board.

    - Pry
    the information out of him
    .

    Pry into is different. It means use force to enter or use force to open:

    - When the two words are kept together, it's usually figurative: Don't pry into my affairs.

    - When the two words are separated, the meaning can be literal: The door was so damaged that we had to pry our way into the house.
    Last edited by Charlie Bernstein; 10-Aug-2014 at 14:48.

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    #4

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    I am not a teacher.

    There are two separate and unrelated verbs.

    Pry = to look into someone's private affairs.

    Pry = to open/extract by force (often using leverage), and it is the equivalent of prise not prize.
    Last edited by Roman55; 10-Aug-2014 at 17:46.

  4. Champleon's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Pry information out of someone


    I have found this:
    Origin of pry

    Alteration of prize3.


    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition Copyright © 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
    Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
    3 pry pries prying pried
    If you pry something such as information out of someone, you persuade them to tell you although they may be very unwilling to. (mainly AM; in BRIT usually use prize)
    ...their attempts to pry the names from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
    VB

    (c) HarperCollins Publishers.


  5. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th edition Copyright © 2013 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company is wrong. It's "prise".

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    Several dictionaries list "prize" and "prise" as acceptable variants for that use.

  7. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    Quote Originally Posted by Roman55 View Post
    I am not a teacher.

    There are two separate and unrelated verbs.

    Pry = to look into someone's private affairs.

    Pry = to open/extract by force (often using leverage), and it is the equivalent of prise not prize.
    They're separate, but don't they seem very related to you? If you think she knows what happened, pry it out of her.

  8. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeNewYork View Post
    Several dictionaries list "prize" and "prise" as acceptable variants for that use.
    If they are saying that "prize" is BrE, they are wrong.

  9. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Pry information out of someone

    I didn't say that. But your pronouncement that American Heritage was wrong was not correct.

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