[Grammar] out of or out

mrmvp

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[FONT=&quot]When I trnslate a text, I am puzzled by "out of "or "out" Is there a rule to know when to use "the" with out and when not?

For example , he came out of the blue or he came out of the blue?
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Thank you.
 
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tzfujimino

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Hello, mrmvp.:)
In your example, "out of the blue" is an idiom meaning "unexpectedly" or "without warning". You can't omit "the" ー it's a set phrase.
However, it's possible to use "out of a blue" in a sentence like "She came out of a blue sedan/car."

I hope my response will be of some help to you.
 

mrmvp

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Thank you so much.

I know what the idiom means.However, what is the difference between a set phrase and an idiom?

Is there a rule to know when to use "the" with out and when not?

Thank you.
 

tzfujimino

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However, what is the difference between a set phrase and an idiom?

Is there a rule to know when to use "the" with out and when not?

By a "set phrase", I mean you can't make any alterations to it ー you can't say "He came out of blue." or "He came out the blue."

I don't quite understand your second question. Could you give us some example sentences to illustrate what you're confused about?
 

Raymott

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For example , he came out of the blue or he came out of the blue?
There's no difference between "he came out of the blue" and "he came out of the blue". They are identical.
It's difficult to guess what you're asking about. Your title suggests it's a question about "out" and "out of", but you tell us that it's about "the". Could you possibly ask again?
 
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