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Would you answer my question? Thanks in advance.

A: "I see something yellowish on your face." "Banana?" "No, it's egg."

B: The politician had an egg thrown at him during his speech, and people saw egg all over his face.

I'd like to see the difference between "egg" and "some egg".

I think "some egg" can't be used in A nor B, because egg's quantity doesn't matter. Right?

I think there is another reason for "some egg" not being used in B. It may be that "all over" implies there is a lot of egg on his face. Right?

  • In both cases egg is being thought of as a substance (the contents of an eggshell). We wouldn't normally use some in this context. "I brushed against the newly-painted fence and got paint on my clothes." – Kate Bunting Aug 10 at 7:46
  • If you were talking about a dish made with eggs (as distinct from a single egg cooked separately) you could use some for a portion of it. "Would you like some scrambled egg?" – Kate Bunting Aug 10 at 12:39
  • @KateBunting - "Some egg" and "some paint" both sound fine to me in a context where there is only a small quantity involved, e.g., "you've got some egg on your cheek". (Or I might say, "you've got a little bit of egg on you".) I wouldn't use "some" in the example sentences in the question though. – nnnnnn Aug 10 at 13:46
  • Thank you Kate Bunting.  I sometimes hear and see "some paint" in similar situations. So I think it doesn't matter whether or not it's the contents of something (a paint can). You said; you could use some for a portion of it. I agree with you. In B egg all over his face is the whole of egg, not a portion. So "some egg" doesn't suit the scene. Right? As for A "egg" means a class or a type, so quantity doesn't matter. "Some" canrt be used, I think. Right? By the way are both my examples right? – magic-dragon Aug 11 at 10:12
  • Thank you nnnnnn. I totally agree with you. So how about this?; C: A drone crashed into the mountain, and there was drone scattered all over. Of course "drone" here means the parts and debris of the drone. Is the reason "some drone" isn't used that "drone" is not a fluid, or that "drone" here is the whole parts and debris of the drone, not a portion, or that the mention of the quantity doesn't matter in a situation of C? – magic-dragon Aug 11 at 10:13
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Some can refer to an indefinite quantity or number. It is used when it is not easy, or not important, to say exactly how much/many we are thinking of.

  1. A: "I see something yellowish on your face." "Banana?" "No, it's egg."

In this case we don't know exactly What is this? egg, banana or something else. So we can use some and,

  1. B: The politician had an egg thrown at him during his speech, and people saw egg all over his face.

In this case we know exactly what/which was the substance appeared on his face. So We don't normally use some in this context.

  • 2
    The OP was asking about 'some egg', not 'something'. – Kate Bunting Aug 10 at 12:35

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