A guy who teaches English from Russia and I were discussing about a sentence that we both translated from Russian into English on a social media platform.

Here are my Russian friend's translated sentences (2):

  1. People destroy the nature by throwing the garbage away on ground.
  2. People kill nature by throwing garbage to the ground.

*I was telling him that his sentence was incorrect, and vice versa.

My reasons why I think that he is wrong:

  • First of all, because he's placed a definite article before ”nature”, emphasizing it as a global object. Also, there is a definite article before ”garbage” as another global thing.
    • Second, because he's placed two prepositions between two nouns: "garbage away on ground".
    • Third, because didn't put a definite article before GROUND.

Whereas, why he thinks that mine is wrong:

  • Firstly, because I've used the verb "kill" instead of "destroy", it doesn't collocate with the word "nature".
    • Secondly, because I didn't put definite articles before "nature" and "garbage".
    • Thirdly, because I've used the preposition "TO" in the "throwing garbage TO the ground" part.

*He said that, I should have used "throw away", as the correct verb, and the preposition should have been "on" for the destination.

I'm not quite sure if I'm correct, that is why I'm asking for help.

  • As an aside, it's not idiomatic to say "throwing garbage to the ground". It's grammatically correct, but if you're talking about people's behavior, it would be more fluent to say "throwing garbage on the ground." throwing X to the ground kind of emphasizes flinging the garbage directly at the ground, to my mind.
    – stangdon
    Feb 27, 2017 at 13:20
  • 1
    Litter (soda cans, gum wrappers, cigarette butts, etc) is thrown to the ground.
    – TimR
    Feb 27, 2017 at 13:22
  • Just can't help noting that since the verb to discuss means to speak with someone about (something), the preposition "about" after discuss is redundant.
    – Victor B.
    Feb 19, 2019 at 15:38

1 Answer 1


Yours is correct in terms of article use. He has a valid point about kill.

People destroy Nature by dumping garbage on the ground.

However, garbage is not the culprit, chemicals, plastics, and raw sewage are, and they are not usually considered "garbage" which, in this context, is food waste not toxic waste.

The verb "throwing" should be replaced with "dumping"; dumping toxic waste. We don't typically throw chemicals or large volumes of waste. That would be a very loose use of the verb throw. It's not ungrammatical, but dump is the more accurate verb for the action in question. dump can refer to large trucks leaving solid waste on the ground or to large pipes discharging effluent into streams or barges emptying solid toxic waste into the ocean.

The phrase "on the ground" could be elaborated: into streams and waterways, or on the ground in places where the pollutants can enter the aquifer.

People destroy Nature by dumping toxic waste into streams and waterways, or in other places where it can enter the aquifer.

BTW, "me" as the subject of the verb is colloquial/non-standard. You wouldn't say "Me was discussing" but "I was discussing". The standard grammatical way to express this is "A guy who teaches English and I were discussing..."

  • Thanks, I however am aware of this rule considering Ne and I, yet, forgot it. How doea 'nature' become 'Nature' in your sentence? Feb 27, 2017 at 16:36
  • 1
    The uppercase "N" is strictly a typographic convention for referring to the "entity" Nature. That is not a grammatical/language rule.
    – TimR
    Feb 28, 2017 at 22:39

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