This is a sub-quesiton from this post.

If I am supposed to merge these two, please leave a comment rather than giving a down voting.

suppose this scenario, there are 9 coffee beans on the floor, I treat them as rubbish.

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question_1 Should I use "it" or "them" or some other pronoun when I say "I need to sweep them/it into a dustpan and dump them/it to the garbage".

I guess both works, and I need a double confirmation.

question_2 should I treat "the beans" as countable or uncountable when I treat them as rubbish?

I guess it is uncountable, and again, I need a double confirmation.

1 Answer 1


It depends on what the pronoun is referring to.

If you said the beans that's countable, and you'd refer to them in the plural:

"I've dropped the beans on the floor and now I need to sweep them up."

If you called it a mess, you'd refer to that in the singular:

"I've dropped the beans on the floor and made a mess! I need to sweep it up."

Similarly, if you referred to it as rubbish that would be uncountable and take a singular pronoun.

"There is rubbish on the floor and I need to sweep it up."

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