A person was handling a small plastic can filled with small beads. His hand fumbled and all the beads popped burst and spread all over the floor.

What are correct verbs describe this movement?

  1. The beads popped burst all over the floor.
  2. He popped burst the beads and they are now all over the floor.
  3. The beads splashed(?)
  • When I hear 'splash', I mainly think of liquids. – shin Aug 2 '16 at 1:04
  • 3
    Is the can sealed? Pressurized? Open? – Leo Aug 2 '16 at 1:57
  • You can't just run two verbs together like that - you can say something popped, or it burst, but you can't say "it popped burst". – stangdon Aug 2 '16 at 12:19

If the can (with no top) was tilted and the beads fell out, that is not "bursting".
bursting would be (for example) when a sealed container with some contents builds up pressure inside the container, so that it would break open.

I would say:

The beads spilled all over the floor.


  1. To cause or allow (a substance) to run or fall out of a container.
  2. To scatter (objects) from containment: spilled the armload of books on the desk.

It would just be "The beads burst all over the floor." Popped burst is just two verbs in front of each other, and is neither necessary nor (as far as I know) grammatically correct.

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