give out/off oxygen

  • sgtudor1965

    Member
    English, USA
    "Give off" works. You could also say "emit" or "produce".

    Give out does not work in this context. To "give out" generally means to fail, or more specifically, to collapse, e.g. the bridge gave out under the weight of truck.
     

    vachecow

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Give out can mean "to give away," but sgtudor is right, it doesn't work in this context.
    However,
    "The boys stood on the corner and gave out candy" is correct.
     

    sgtudor1965

    Member
    English, USA
    Perhaps a difference between AE and other Es. In AE, "give off" is frequently used when talking about gasses that are emitted, so is entirely appropriate here, while "give out" usually means either "collapse" or "give away".
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Perhaps a difference between AE and other Es. In AE, "give off" is frequently used when talking about gasses that are emitted, so is entirely appropriate here, while "give out" usually means either "collapse" or "give away".
    That is a curious possibility.
    It is a very crude indicator, but Google reports the following:
    Web totals:
    1,150,000 for "give off
    1,240,000 for "give out

    UK sites only:
    143,000 for "give off
    666,000 for "give out
     

    paulio

    Senior Member
    UK, English
    I think it is a BE/AE split. In BE give off has undertones of poisonous gases, car fumes and the like, whereas give out is fine and just means emit.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Plastics manufacturers refer to the emitting of gasses from plastics as "out gassing".

    "Out gassing" is applicable to plastics. I have not heard it used with other materials or plants.

    I might be inclined to use "give off" in this sentence:

    The car engine ran poorly and did give off quite a stench.
     
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