She was clearing (up) the debris of the world she had just destroyed.

Do I need the up? Why or why not?

  • 1
    Compare with "She was cleaning the debris..." It is not the debris which is being cleaned. Sep 11, 2017 at 8:53

1 Answer 1


In this sentence clearing and clearing up both refer to the world and not the debris. Whereas you can clear the room of the debris it is not usual to specify either what is being removed or what it is being removed from when you clear up. So you could write

She was clearing the world of the debris which she had made.
She was clearing the table of the dishes which she had used.

She was clearing up after destroying the world.
She was clearing up after eating a meal.

Alternatively, if you want the clearing to refer to the debris then you could use clearing away :

She was clearing away the debris of the world which she had just destroyed.
She was clearing away the remains of the meal which she had just eaten.

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