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:
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 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
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?
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
We normally use FALL OVER to describe someone tripping and falling (usually, but not always, to the ground)
Examples of FALL OVER in context
We use FALL OFF when your original position was “on”.
Examples of FALL OFF in context
We use FALL OUT when your original position was “in”.
Examples of FALL OUT in context
FALL OUT as a phrasal verb = have an argument with someone and stop being friends.
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
We use FALL OUT when your original position was not “in”.
Example of FALL INTO in context
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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