Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Word Wednesday: Trash

A row of containers for trash and different types of recyclables. (Image)

Hello! Welcome to Word Wednesday, where we look at new and important vocabulary words. Since we talked about pollution and contamination on Monday, I wanted to mention a few related words today.

First of all, specific little "bits" or "pieces" of pollution are often called trash, especially in American English. Normally the word "trash" is a non-count noun; in other words, I can't say a trash; if I want to count trash, I can say a piece of trash or some trash. The place where you're supposed to throw away your trash is called a trashcan. If something is not clean, you can call it trashy or dirty. You can also use these words with people but be careful, since it can be offensive! Finally, if a room or place is unorganized (but not necessarily dirty), you can also describe it as messy.

If you're in the United Kingdom or a place that speaks British English, they often call trash rubbish. A trash can is also sometimes called a rubbish bin. Another word for general trash or rubbish is waste, but waste can also mean "excess," or something that's not used.

An anti-littering sign in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The fee for littering there is 50 pounds, the currency in the UK. (Image)

If you do not put your trash in a trash can, and instead just throw it on the ground, then you are littering. It is often a crime to litter in many countries and if you throw your litter on the ground, you may have to pay a fine (pay money as a punishment).

So, to review, can you explain what each of these words and phrases means, and use them in a sentence?

a piece of trash
some trash
rubbish bin
throw away
a fine

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

This sign is similar to the one above, but this one is in Ohio. $500 is a lot of money, so don't litter in Ohio, people! (Image)

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