Sentence analysis

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Dew66, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Dew66 Senior Member

    I just read the first paragraph of a story for children.

    It is written as follow.

    There was once an old woman who had three little pigs who ate and ate and ate, until they had eaten her almost out of house and home.

    As a non-native speaker (me), my confusion started when my eyes read the part of sentence -- her almost out of house and home.

    Her is a possessive determiner. So, Is "her" here used to describe nouns such as house and home?

    Question here: What I am perplexed is that what do "almost out of" serve as? Serve as adjective here?

    This question might be too complicated and probably no one can help with this one.

    Thanks for reading this.
  2. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    'Her' can also be the object, remember. Here it's part of an idiom 'eat (someone) out of house and home', meaning "eat everything they've got". 'Her' is object of 'eat', though it doesn't literally mean "eat her". I'm not sure why the idiom is as it is: there's no food left, so the owner has to move to a different house? Anyway, now you know the idiom, the grammar should be clear. 'Almost' can modify some prepositions indicating movement, though in ordinary speech we'd say 'almost all the way' - she fell almost all the way down the stairs; they ran almost all the way across the bridge.
  3. velisarius Senior Member

    British English (Sussex)
    This is a famous (and humorous) quotation from Shakespeare that has passed into the language as an idiom :
    We can say for example "My son came to stay for a week and ate me out of house and home. He finished all the food I had stored and now I have to go shopping again.
  4. Dew66 Senior Member

    Hello Entangled Bank,

    Thanks for the answer.
    You make it so clear and now I understand what I intened to know.
    Thanks so much.

  5. Dew66 Senior Member

    Thanks a lot, Velisarius~


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