Nothing <on> the inside, nothing <on> the outside

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Stephen is showing kids a trick in a dramatic manner.
- An empty pan. Nothing on the inside, nothing on the outside. [puttung the lid on] (..........) Hocus Pocus! (..........) Hang on a minute. Abracadabra! [the pan turns out to be filled with sweets]
BBC video

I wonder -- in ordinary situation, if you wanted to show that a pan was empty, would you say "nothing is inside" instead? I mean, you wouldn't use "on", right?
Thanks.
 
  • MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I would say "nothing inside" or "nothing on the inside." The latter is a common way of conveying the thought, even though "on" seems a little strange to the non-native speaker.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I would say "nothing inside" or "nothing on the inside." The latter is a common way of conveying the thought, even though "on" seems a little strange to the non-native speaker.
    Do you mean conveying the thought of a trick? But I meant... imagine you ask where is the soup. She answers the soup is in the pan in the fridge. You find there's no soup left in the pan and say: "nothing inside". In this situation, would you say "on the inside", too?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The "inside" has both a surface and a volume. Something can be on the inside surface or in the inside volume. Things that are in the volume are also on (touching) the surface. Soup doesn't go in the pan without being also on the sides and the bottom. Both "in" and "on" works for "nothing". There is no soup inside the pan (or in the pan). There is no stain on the inside of the pan (but there is a large stain on the outside of the pan). The stain would not be "in" the volume but only "on" the surface.
     

    MuttQuad

    Senior Member
    English - AmE
    I would say "nothing on the inside" in various situations, such as looking into an empty box, a house or room devoid of furnishings, etc. With soup, it's a pot, not a pan; and I would say there's no soup left" or there's nothing in the pot."
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thank you, all.
    So, as I see, for soup, you wouldn't use "on" because it's "in the inside volume", (though, technically, when soup is in a pot, it is touching the inside surface).
     
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