garbage vs. some garbage

Hi everyone.

Would you ever say "On the floor is garbage." ?

I corrected my student suggesting that if he wished to you this word order putting "some" before garbage sounds more natural, i.e. "On the floor is some garbage." At the same time I advised him that it is smarter to say "There is garbage on the floor." to which he enquired how come that in this case it is not necessary to use "some".

So basically: why "On the floor is some garbage." but "There is garbage on the floor." (not necessarily with some.)

Thank you very much indeed!
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I would not say 'On the floor is garbage' because it is not the normal way of expressing this idea. It is not idiomatic. I'd say 'There's garbage on the floor' or more likely 'There's some garbage on the floor' which would express the idea that there's a certain amount of an uncountable noun and is highly idiomatic.

    I might start with 'On the floor, ... ' if I were describing a scene. Without the 'some' we could get the idea that the garbage is all over the floor.

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