There are three kinds of non-phoric es: the topologically motivated prefield-es, the formal subject-es and the correlate es which is coindexed with a subject or object subordinate clause. All of them can stand in the ,prefield' of German declarative clauses. The theory of the prefield ranking should disallow the positioning of such elements in the prefield. A closer look at corpus data reveals that sentences with non-phoric es in the prefield do not contain any of the more favoured prefield-fillers. The only way to fill the prefield in such cases is by Formal Movement of the subject (es) into the prefield position, or, if even that fails, by base-generation of an expletive in the prefield, namely the prefield-es.