I am searching everywhere for the answer to this but I don't know what parts of speech I'm looking for so I'm not finding what I need.

Which one is it?: "The deliverable must be approved prior to closing out the effort." or "The deliverable must be approved prior to closing the effort out."

Same for: "...check the deliverable in/out" or "...check in/out the deliverable"


Original Post


Welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

Unfortunately, neither of your examples make sense to me.  I am not familiar with the the concept of approving a deliverable (as opposed to, perhaps, a delivery) or closing out an effort.  Can you give us a context?

Thank you.


Sure. In a software development  environment where you are creating certain work products (deliverables) that are to be delivered as part of the software solution creation or enhancement efforts, whereas an effort is the equivalent of a project, you “close” them “out” when they are complete. If an end user makes a request for an issue that needs to be worked on, a developer will “check” the request “out” of the ticketing system, and then “check” it back “in” when they have completed the work. Does that help?

Hi, Kerry, and welcome to G.E.

The multi-word verbs you mention are phrasal verbs, formed by a verb and a separable adverbial particle. Notice that, if a pronoun is used, you will need to insert it in between:

- You have to check in the deliverables after closing out the effort -> You have to check them in after closing it out.

When a noun phrase is used, it can be placed between the verb and the adverbial particle (unless the noun phrase is too long), or at the end. Therefore, both of your options are grammatically correct:

- The deliverable must be approved prior to closing out the effort / closing the effort out. (BUT: The deliverable must be approved prior to closing out the effort assigned to you / the effort in which you have been involved -> the object is too long to be placed in between)

- The developer checks in/out the deliverable / checks the deliverable in/out.

Unlike "out" in "close out," which seems to mean "completely," "in" and "out" in "check in/out" have a directional meaning. If the place of origin or destination is mentioned, then the adverbial particle will obviously have to be placed at the end:

- The developer checks the deliverable into/out of the system.

Thank you both very much! This answers my question and I will bookmark this thread as it has also answered additional questions I’ve had before!

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