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to be out of

to be out of

Context #1:
Sam: Oh man!  I wanted to cook dinner tonight, but I’m out of rice.
Jim:  No problem. I can take you to the store to get some more.
Sam: Ok, thanks!  Let’s go.

Context #2:
Waitress:  Can I take your order?
Julie:  Sure.  I’ll have the mahi mahi.
Waitress: I’m sorry! We’re out of the mahi mahi.
Julie:  Really!  Well then, I’ll have the salmon.

Meaning: to be out of something means that something is all gone, no longer available, or sold out.  This is a very common idiom in American English.

This idiom was taken from the LSI textbook “Speaking Transitions” which is used at LSI schools to teach Level 4 Speaking and Listening.  For more information, please visit

Thank you Ty!

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