Pour chips/legos ?

takiakos76

Senior Member
Hungarian
Hi!

"I poured the chips out of the bag on the plate."
"I poured the Legos out of the box on the floor."

Are these correct?
As far as I could tell from my google search, the first one is, the second one isn't. (You'd rather *tip* the Legos out of the box? Or how would one say that in correct English?)


Thanks!
 
  • PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    If you use "pour", you are indicating that the thing that is being poured has a liquid-like motion; a flowing motion.

    NB Also in BE, chips are the things in "fish and chips", but in AE chips are the things that, in BE, are called "crisps".
     

    RM1(SS)

    Senior Member
    English - US (Midwest)
    Perhaps he poured the chips into a bowl, and then left the empty bag sitting on a nearby plate.

    "Where'd this mess come from?"
    "I poured the chips out of the bag on the plate."
     

    takiakos76

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    OK, thank you for all your answers!

    Now, apart from the Lego/Legos issue and my mistake of writing on instead of onto (thanks for pointing these out though!), about the original question:

    Can you pour chips/crisps out of the bag onto a plate?
    Can you pour Legos/Lego out of the box onto the floor?
    (I.e., is pour the proper verb in these cases; or would tip be better; or something else?)

    ewie writes:
    tip is perhaps more likely with chips and Lego ... but I wouldn't consider it 'wrong'.
    But it doesn't sound too definite. :) (Neither do I know whether he's an AE or BE speaker.)
    Can you guys confirm that?
    (I.e., tip is better, but pour is not wrong in both of those two cases.)

    Thanks!
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    If you use "pour", you are indicating that the thing that is being poured has a liquid-like motion; a flowing motion.
    If that is the image you wish to convey then that is the verb that you will use.

    (Neither do I know whether he's an AE or BE speaker.)
    There is a clue beneath his avatar... "English English" ;)
    tip is perhaps more likely with chips and Lego ... but I wouldn't consider it 'wrong'.
    But it doesn't sound too definite.
    It is very clear. :) You should understand that there is no accurate and invariable "Yes/No" answer to your question and although both are possible, how appropriate they are depends on the context.

    If there are only three crisps/chips or five or six Lego pieces, then "pour" is not going to be appropriate.

    Students are often anxious to inform us that they know there are differences between AE/BE differences: these are quite rare - if there is a difference, an AE/BE speaker will remark on it.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    American English doesn't use "tipped" like that.
    I tipped the Legos out of the box. :thumbsdown: in AmE
    I tipped the box and the Legos poured out.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    Can you pour Legos/Lego out of the box onto the floor?
    Yes.
    For me:
    If you tip the box at an angle so the bricks come out in a stream, that's pouring the Lego out of the box.
    If you turn the box upside down so all the bricks fall out together, that's emptying, tipping or dumping the Lego out of the box.
     

    takiakos76

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    Thanks everybody!

    How about sand?
    "I poured the sand out of the bucket" (to me this one sounds good, because in this case it is a flowing-like motion, isn't it?)
    "I tipped the sand out of the bucket" -- although from Myridon's answer I gather this is for sure wrong in AE....?
    "I dumped the sand out of the bucket"

    Thanks!
     

    takiakos76

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    "I poured the chips out of the bag onto the plate."
    "I poured the Legos out of the box onto the floor."
    Thank you everyone...
    Just back to the on/onto thing for a second... I know there must be tons of threads about it, but in this particular case:
    You could say "I poured the chips on the plate" though, couldn't you?
    I.e., when without the to it's still obvious what you mean, then you can omit it, but if it would potentially modify the meaning (as in the original examples, which I didn't realize), then you have to be specific -- do I understand that correctly?

    Thank you!
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    You could say "I poured the chips on the plate" though, couldn't you?
    No. That would be wrong - it may be "informal/colloquial" but it would also be wrong.
    I.e., when without the to it's still obvious what you mean,
    In fact, it is not. See #4 and #5
    He poured out the Legos on the plate = He poured out the Legos that were on the plate. "On the plate" is an adjectival phrase, whereas "onto the plate" is an adverbial clause.

    In English, the importance of correct syntax and grammar cannot be overstated as English is not an inflected language.
     

    Forero

    Senior Member
    USA English
    Thank you everyone...
    Just back to the on/onto thing for a second... I know there must be tons of threads about it, but in this particular case:
    You could say "I poured the chips on the plate" though, couldn't you?
    I.e., when without the to it's still obvious what you mean, then you can omit it, but if it would potentially modify the meaning (as in the original examples, which I didn't realize), then you have to be specific -- do I understand that correctly?

    Thank you!
    That does not sound quite right to me. I would go with "onto".

    But:

    They poured salt on the trout.:tick:
    She got on the bus.:tick:
     
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