A hot coal fell out <of> the fire and burned the shoes.

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brian&me

Senior Member
Chinese - China
A hot coal fell out the fire and burned the shoes.

(from an English textbook for junior high school students in China, co-published by DC Canada Education Publishing and Hebei Education Press)

I wonder if ‘fell out the fire’ should be ‘fell out of the fire’.

Many thanks in advance.
 
  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I was curious so I checked online, where I found "DC Canada started publishing ESL textbooks for China back in the 1990s." So your textbooks are quite recent.

    In AE the sentence needs "of", as you suggest. It is a mistake.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    It's correct in BE, but I suspect most speakers nowadays would use the phrase "fell out of..." Dropping "of" sounds to me more or less old-fashioned or dialectal.

    I'd be more likely to drop "of" in this sentence: He fell out/out of the window. I think "falling/looking out (of) windows" may be an exception.

    Or maybe not:
    My keys fell out (of) my pocket when I bent down. :tick:
    The baby fell out of his cot.:tick:

    I think this may have been discussed in previous threads.
     

    Englishmypassion

    Senior Member
    India - Hindi
    It's correct in BE, but I suspect most speakers nowadays would use the phrase "fell out of..." Dropping "of" sounds to me more or less old-fashioned or dialectal.

    I'd be more likely to drop "of" in this sentence: He fell out/out of the window. I think "falling/looking out (of) windows" may be an exception.

    Or maybe not:
    My keys fell out (of) my pocket when I bent down. :tick:
    The baby fell out of his cot.:tick:

    I think this may have been discussed in previous threads.
    And here I was thinking that "out the window" (out the noun) was mainly AE and much less common in BE.
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    I don't think "A hot coal fell out the fire..." is correct in BE: it certainly jars on me. :(
    I did note that it sounds to me "old-fashioned or dialect", so it jars a little on me too - except that in the English I grew up with I don't think it would have been considered unnatural. I feel sure it was acceptable in BE in the first part of the 20th century, but let's see what others have to say.
     
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