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A laminate floor is made by sticking many layers of planks together. Over the time, the glue may wear off and makes these layers break and split open. "The piece" may appear on the floor as shown in the picture.

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When your child is walking around, he or she may trip over "it". I don't know the term to express the "it", so I decided to say "the piece".

For example, "Be careful! You may trip over the piece".

Is it okay to say "the piece" when you don't know what it is called?

  • I would say "chipped off piece", good question though. – Cardinal May 14 '20 at 7:58
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"It" is used to refer to a thing previously mentioned or easily identified.

For example, if you pointed at a loose piece of laminate and said "don't trip over it", you are identifying what "it" is. Similarly, if you said "there is a loose piece of laminate - don't trip over it", you have made it clear.

Saying "the piece" instead of "it" is no clearer unless you specify what "the piece" is. A piece of what? A piece of toast? If it's clear you are talking about the flooring, which piece do you mean?

Ultimately, you will have to identify it, so you might as well use "it", or say "don't trip over the loose flooring".

You'll notice I've called it "flooring" - this seems the shortest way to describe it. We also use "laminate" as a collective noun for an entire laminate flooring, ie "don't trip over the loose laminate".

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