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  • 他出商店去了。
  • 他从商店出去了。

Why is only the second sentence right? I knew that when we use a directional complement, we could put the object in the middle between the two verbs. So why do I have to use 从 in this sentence to make it grammatically correct?

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出 and 去 are both verbs, you can't use both as separate entities. 出去 on the other hand is a resultative verb, you can't break it up.

从 (from) is here a preposition indicating direction.

A similar expression would be 他到哪儿去了, where 到 (where/to) is the corresponding preposition.

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出商店去了 is fine with proper context.

Other answers have pointed out that 出去 is an inseparable verb. I don't think it's the case. Instead, you use as a single verb and use 去了 as a complementary. This matches the Verb Phrase + 去了 structure, as in 钓鱼去了, 吃午餐去了.

However, when there is in the verb phrase, people usually expect the 出 + Optional Place + VP + 去了 structure, as in 出钓鱼去了, 出公司吃午餐去了. 出商店去了 would sound a bit incomplete in such context.

But then again, we have 出差去了, 出国去了, 出门去了 etc. 出差, 出国, and 出门 are established verbs, so these phrases fit the VP + 去了 category. 出国 and 出商店 are too similar in structure, though the latter is not an established word, it is still natural if we mentally consider it it as VP + 去了.

I would imagine the following dialog:

Woman: Have you seen my husband? He wears a green hat. 看见我老公了吗?他戴一顶绿色的帽子。

Girl: Yes, but he just went out of the store. 看见了,不过他刚刚出商店去了。

Not ungrammatical to my taste.

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This is a sentence structure that is commonly seen nowadays. For example:
他买苹果去了
他到美国去了

It means that (he) performed (some action) and he's gone doing it.

In this case, he gets out of the shop and he's gone doing it. 他出商店去了

I think the catch here is to determine if the question is asking if 出去 can be used separately (which we can't), or if it's just a sentence structure where is the action (exiting).

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