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Fall over/ off/down?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sambistapt, Jun 27, 2007.

  1. sambistapt Senior Member

    RIO DE JANEIRO
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Hello amigos!:)

    Which of them is the correct preposition in the sentences bellow?

    " Tim fell over/off/down the tree."
    " Tim fell over/off/down the stairs."
    " Tim fell over/off/down the horse."

    Thanks in advance;

    Sambista:cool:
     
  2. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Hello! Which ones do you think are correct? Remember you should give it a try first :)

    Pablo
     
  3. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Singapore
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    Grammatically they are all correct. It only depends on which is a plausible situation. Perhaps you are asking the difference among "over", "off" and "down"?

    As roxcyn has mentioned, you should give it a try first and we'll clear up any misconception you might have.:)
     
  4. sambistapt Senior Member

    RIO DE JANEIRO
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Here you are:

    " Tim fell over the tree."
    " Tim fell over the stair."
    " Tim fell off the horse."

    I´m a bit undecided on the usage of " down" in these 3 sentences.:confused:

    Could you provide me more examples to clarify me!!:)

    Thanks once again,

    Sambista:cool:
     
  5. roxcyn

    roxcyn Senior Member

    USA
    American English [AmE]
    Tim fell over the tree: The tree was tiny and he tripped over the tree.
    Tim fell down the tree: He climbed the tree, and he fell down from tree, ouch!
    Tim fell over the stairs: Tim tripped over the stairs.
    Tim fell down the stairs: He fell down from the stairs. For example, he was at the top of the stairs and he fell down, ouch!

    Tim fell off the horse, right!

    The sentences that are in bold, I would say are the most common way to say it, because the other sentences are unique situations, so:

    " Tim fell down the tree."
    " Tim fell down the stairs."
    " Tim fell off the horse."
     
  6. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    For the first one, I think I'd expect to see "Tim fell out of the tree" or "Tim fell from the tree."

    You could also say "Tim fell from the horse".
     
  7. anothersmith Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English, U.S.
    I would say:

    Tim fell off the tree. (Because he was probably hanging onto it.)

    Tim fell down the stairs. (Unless this was an outdoor staircase without a strong guard rail, in which case he could have fallen off the side.)

    Tim fell off the horse. (Because he was sitting on top of it.)
     
  8. sambistapt Senior Member

    RIO DE JANEIRO
    Brazilian Portuguese
    Thanks for the all answers posted here, I´ve appreciated it!!!:)

    Obrigado, gracias & grazie

    Sambista ( Claudio):cool:
     
  9. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Singapore
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    " Tim fell over the tree."
    If the tree has fallen and is lying on the ground, then you can "fall over" the tree.

    " Tim fell over the stair."
    You can never "fall over" the stairs because I can't think of a way to make the stairs lie on the ground.

    " Tim fell off the horse."
    Bingo! You are right.

    Fall over the cat
    You were on one side of the cat. You tripped over the cat and fall. And you are now on the other side of the cat.

    Fall off the horse
    You were on the horse, then you fall. So now you are off the horse.

    Fall down the ramp
    You were on the ramp, then you fall. So now you are at the bottom (or nearer to the bottom) of the ramp.

    Hope the explanation is clear.:)
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's easy to suggest the normal preposition for falling down stairs or falling off horses.
    For some reason, although I have fallen out of trees many more times than I have fallen down stairs or off horses, that's the one I have trouble with.

    Tim fell out of the tree?
    Tim fell from the tree?
    Tim fell down the tree?
     
  11. ADMP

    ADMP Senior Member

    Sinhaleese - Sri Lanka
     
  12. anothersmith Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English, U.S.
    To me, "Tim fell down the tree" suggests that he had climbed quite high and, as he fell, knocked down branches in his path. But perhaps that's just my interpretation as someone who used to spend much time climbing trees and falling out of them (but luckily not down them).
     
  13. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    The first and third sound fine, ADMP.

    You could only fall "over" the stairs if you were on a building site and a set of stairs was lying on the ground, waiting to be installed. If you tripped over part of that, you could be said to have fallen over the stairs.

    If you are falling from a flight of stairs which you were climbing, which were not lying on the ground, you would have fall down the stairs.
     
  14. cheshire

    cheshire Senior Member

    اليابان
    Catholic (Cat-holic, not Catholic)
    Nobody said "fall down the horse" is OK. Is it?
     
  15. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Singapore
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    You couldn't do much tumbling when you fall out of trees, so I don't think "fell down" is right. Unless of course if you were very high up and is still on the tree after falling (on a lower branch).

    "Fell from" is so generic. You can "fall from" everything, even stairs, except that in this case, we have to say "fall from the top of the stairs (to the landing below)".

    Even though it may seem a little strange to some non-natives that it is possible to be "in trees". We can say "someone is in a tree", therefore it is logical that someone can be falling "out of a tree".:D
     
  16. cycloneviv

    cycloneviv Senior Member

    Perth, Western Australia
    English - Australia
    You could say "fall down from the horse", but "fall down the horse" sounds wrong. To "fall down" something is like falling down a flight of stairs, you go some distance, falling "along" the object you're falling down. In the case of a horse, you're up there, then you're not - there's not rolling lengthily along the horse! (I can remember that from the few times I've dared ride a horse!)
     
  17. samanthalee

    samanthalee Senior Member

    Singapore
    Mandarin, English - [Singapore]
    You probably can slide down a horse when it is rearing. But that's not falling.:D
     
  18. Rivendell

    Rivendell Senior Member

    Madrid
    Spanish / Spain
    I think:

    - Tim fell out of the window (because he was inside and now he is outside).
    - Tim fell down the stairs (because he was upstairs and now he is downstairs)
    - Tim fell off a horse (because he was on the horse and now he is off the horse)

    In some of them you could also say "fall from" if you emphasize the place you are falling from instead of the direction (fall from the tree, from the window...).

    That's a little trick that works sometimes. However, there are some examples where several forms might do:

    - Tim fell off the tree, because he was on the tree or
    - Tim fell down the tree, because he was upon the tree.

    Poor Tim!! :)
     

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