I want to ask if the sentence "Мусоропровод забит жильцами" is completely ungrammatical (and why). As I know, we can surely say: "Стихотворение написано поэтом", "Роль сыграна актёром", "Очаг возгорания потушен пожарными" and so on. The structure is as follows: inanimate noun in nominative + passive voice participle (past tense, short form) + animate noun in instrumental.

1 Answer 1


It's totally grammatical, in theory ambiguous but however on practice, since it's way more common to see a rubbish chute ruined by people rather than a rubbish suite filled up with human beings - this disambiguation is virtually negligible.

Context is important. Compare following text snippets:

  • Полянка была замусорена студентами.
  • Лужайка была завалена полуразложившимися зомби.

In first case one rather assume that students littered the lawn, in the second case (however artificial this sentence is) one would imagine rotten corpses as semi-moribund zombies rather than, you know, zombies engaged in some sort of throwing contest.

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    Note that apart from “The garbage chute is clogged up by tenants [with garbage]” and “The garbage chute is clogged up with tenants[’ bodies]”, the sentence “Мусоропровод забит жильцами” can also be understood as “The garbage chute is bolted shut by tenants” and “The garbage chute is butchered / slaughtered / bludgeoned to death by tenants”.
    – Yellow Sky
    Aug 9, 2020 at 13:51
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    And also, the last two variants can well be understood as having with instead of by, which makes it all still more fancy.
    – Yellow Sky
    Aug 9, 2020 at 14:06
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    @YellowSky and also, when it's "bolted with tenants", the tenants could be used either as hummer or as nails Aug 10, 2020 at 0:24
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    I'm not sure, it maybe regional, but same as the OP, I feel this is a "bad" sentence. It is very common that a grammatically correct sentence can by very non-idiomatic, sometimes to the point that no native speaker would use it. As a native speaker I would never use the sentence in the OP, unless I was aiming for a comic effect. The unintended comic effect in my view is enough of a deterrent even though it can easily be disambiguated. Aug 10, 2020 at 1:59
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    Мусоропровод был забит жильцами гвоздями руками годами
    – Quassnoi
    Aug 10, 2020 at 11:37

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