Use the adjective "empty" when there is nothing in a container, in a box, on a shelf, in a store, etc. (Notice that the "p" in this word is silent.)

  • My pockets are empty. There’s nothing in them.
  • Laura’s refrigerator is empty. She has to go shopping.
  • John’s gas tank is empty. He needs to get some gas.
  • empty apartment His apartment is empty. There’s nothing in it.
  • The shelves in this store are almost empty. Are they going out of business?
  • This store is totally empty. It doesn’t have any shoppers in it. (You can use "empty" when there aren’t any people in a store.)
  • My stomach is empty. I have to eat something.

You can also use "empty" as a verb:

  • Could you empty out this wastebasket please? It’s full of trash.
  • The police officer told the boy to empty out his pockets.
  • Luther emptied his glove box before he sold his car.

There are a couple of instances when you can use "empty" as a noun:

  • My car is on empty. I need to get some gas.
  • He’s running on empty. He needs to get some sleep. (run on empty = do things without sleep our nourishment.)

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 This page was first published on March 16, 2012. It was updated on April 5, 2015.