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difference in meaning between fall down fall off fall over

Discussion in 'Polski (Polish)' started by Baltic Sea, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. Baltic Sea Senior Member

    Polish
    Hello all users!

    Could you help me to establish the difference in meaning between "fall down", "fall off" and "fall over".

    I will try making up a few logical sentences.

    1. A little girl was climbing up the old apple tree in an effort to blast off some apples, but was careful not to fall down (a fall from a relatively high height).

    2. Jack almost fell off hos bike when he saw this beautiful girl. (a fall resulting from surprise)

    3. A youth was walking boldly along the forest path, but suddenly tripped and fell over (a fall not from a high height).
    Sentence 3 could also be expressed as follows: (or I am wrong)
    3'. A youth was walking boldly along the forest path, but suddenly stumbled and fell down (a fall not from a high height).

    As can be seen, "fall down" and "fall over" are very similar in meaning except that "fall down" relates to a higher height. Maybe someone could give some examples of "fall off", not necessarily meaning experiencing a fall resulting from surprise. He fell off/down the cliff!?

    Thank you. The source: My imagination.
     
  2. LeTasmanien

    LeTasmanien Senior Member

    Gmina Karczew, Poland
    English British
    Yes i think that your interpretations of "fall down" and "fall over" are reasonable.

    In your sentence above the phrase "almost fell off" can imply surprise but often not, for example;
    During the earthquake the books almost fell of the shelf.
     
  3. Baltic Sea Senior Member

    Polish
    Thank you, LeTasmanien. What do others think?
     
  4. LeTasmanien

    LeTasmanien Senior Member

    Gmina Karczew, Poland
    English British
    Postscript
    Things that are actually on the ground can fall down too.
    Again in an earthquake buildings may fall down (collapse).
    A person can fall down if they slip or faint.
    You are right, your two versions of 3 above are both correct and mean the same thing (apart from the slight difference between trip and stumble)

    You would say he fell off the cliff. The use of "off" implies complete separation from the thing he fell off.
    In comparison you could say he fell down the mountain/slope

    "in an effort to blast off some apples" this is not an expression English speakers would use.
    Perhaps you meant something like "in an attempt to shake some apples from the branches"
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012
  5. R.O

    R.O Senior Member

    Polish
    Hi, Baltic. While it's entirely up to you where you're posting, I'm wondering why you're not taking advantage of the English Only forum where you can find many more native speakers than here in the Polish forum. :)
     
  6. audiolaik

    audiolaik Senior Member

    Poland
    Poland, Polish

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