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Fall, Fall Down or Fall Over... What's The Difference?

(13/11/2018)

Fall, Fall Down or Fall Over... What's The Difference?

Fall, Fall Down or Fall Over... What's The Difference?

Fall, Fall Down or Fall Over... What's The Difference?

In this lesson with Greg, founder of Online Language Academy, you will learn how to use the following English FALL Verbs: 

  • FALL
  • FALL DOWN
  • FALL OVER
  • FALL OFF
  • FALL OUT
  • FALL UP
  • FALL INTO



By the end of this lesson, you will understand why we use FALL in so many different ways in this sentence:
 

Jonny FELL OVER a small rock and FELL DOWN the mountain. He couldn’t stop himself, and eventually FELL OFF the cliff and INTO the sea. The ambulance rescued him, but the door was open and he FELL OUT of the ambulance and ONTO the road.

 

Fall, Fall Down or Fall Over... What's The Difference?

Lesson Notes

🔵FALL

FALL means to ‘come down from a higher position’ or to ‘suddenly go down onto the ground or towards the ground unintentionally or accidentally’.


How do we use FALL?

FALL is an irregular verb. The past simple of FALL is FELL. The past participle is FALLEN

We can use FALL as a noun or a verb for example:

Mrs. Smith had a terrible FALL (noun) yesterday and is now in hospital. She FELL (verb) in her apartment.


Examples of FALL in context

  • The big oak tree FELL in the storm.
     
  • House prices are FALLING at the moment.

 


 

We can add many prepositions (down, over, off, up…) after the verb FALL to better describe the direction of the fall.


⭐️ Greg’s Tip: To know which preposition to use after FALL, think of the original position of the object. Where was it before the fall?

 


 

🔵FALL DOWN

We use FALL DOWN when something falls to the ground (when it was previously ‘up’ or in a vertical position)


Examples of FALL DOWN in context

  • I FELL DOWN in the supermarket.
    (In other words, I was standing UP, and the fall took me DOWN)
     
  • Built a huge Jenga tower, but my it FELL DOWN when someone opened the window.
    (The tower was in a vertical position, and after the fall it was down / on the ground / on the table)

 


 

🔵FALL OVER

We normally use FALL OVER to describe someone tripping and falling (usually, but not always, to the ground)

 

Examples of FALL OVER in context

  • I wasn’t looking where I was going and I FELL OVER the coffee table.
     
  • He got on the stage and FELL OVER in front of an audience of 100 people.

 


 


🔵FALL OFF 

We use FALL OFF when your original position was “on”.

 

Examples of FALL OFF in context

  • John FELL OFF the horse and injured his back. (John’s original position: ON the horse)
     
  • The glass FELL OFF the table and broke. (Original position of glass: ON the table)
     
  • He was rock climbing and FELL OFF the cliff. (Original position: ON the cliff)

 


 

🔵FALL OUT

We use FALL OUT when your original position was “in”. 

 

Examples of FALL OUT in context

  • If you eat too many sweets your teeth will FALL OUT. (Original position of teeth: IN your mouth)
     
  • You close the car door so that you don’t FALL OUT. (Original position: IN the car)
     
  • He was being stupid and accidentally FELL OUT OF the window. (Original position: IN the house)


BONUS MEANING: 

FALL OUT as a phrasal verb = have an argument with someone and stop being friends. 

 


 


🔵FALL UP

As ridiculous as it sounds, you can even FALL UP something if your fall happens in an upwards direction. This happens rarely, and usually involves stairs.

 

Example of FALL UP in context

  • He was running too quickly, slipped and FELL UP the stairs.

 


 

🔵FALL INTO

We use FALL OUT when your original position was not “in”.

 

Example of FALL INTO in context

  • She lost her balance and FELL INTO the swimming pool.
     
  • She was looking at her mobile phone while walking, and FELL INTO a big hole in the middle of the pavement.

 


 

Now let’s look at the sentence about Jonny again...

 

Jonny FELL OVER a small rock (he tripped on a small rock)

…and FELL DOWN the mountain (original position: UP the mountain)

He couldn’t stop himself, and eventually FELL OFF the cliff (original position: ON the cliff)

…and INTO the sea. (original position: NOT IN the sea)

The ambulance rescued him, but the door was open and he FELL OUT OF the ambulance (original position: IN the ambulance)

and ONTO the road. (original position: NOT ON the road)

 

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