Drag/fall/lag behind -- passive/active voice?

Disneyesque

Senior Member
Korean 
Hello. I just wanted to ask the usage of 'drag/fall/lag behind'.

I am the kind of person who hates to drag behind/be dragged behind. So, whenever I encounter tough tasks, I always try to do my very best catching up.

Can both active and passive voice do?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In this idiom 'drag' is used actively like the intransitive verbs 'lag' and 'fall': you drag behind. There is no image of someone or something dragging you (like a child with a doll, or a horse with a cart).
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In this country, at least, I think it is fair to say that we would use 'drag behind' in an intransitive sense only of some object physically connected to something in front.

    'The tarpaulin came loose from the trailer and dragged behind in the mud'.
     

    Disneyesque

    Senior Member
    Korean 
    Hello, lovely flowers :D! I clearly understood that lag and fall behind are totally intransitive. But quite puzzled upon 'drag behind', for 'drag' I usually used the word to say 'pull something', as the word in the phrase 'drag-and-drop' does, which is quite transitive. But it is used in a intransitive form at least in this idiom- am I on the right track? Thank you so much!
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    In post 4, I am saying that in the UK, as far as I know, we do not use 'drag behind' intransitively except when talking about objects physically connected to each other, as in the example given.

    However, we use 'drag' on its own intransitively when referring to performances, or sessions of work, which seem to be passing slowly.

    'This lesson is really dragging' would express the feeling of a bored pupil.

    By the way, please note that all the examples of 'drag' or 'drag behind' given in this thread so far are in the active voice.
    It drags: active.
    It is dragged: passive.
     

    Disneyesque

    Senior Member
    Korean 
    Aha, that's the point. So I would safely say 'lag behind' and 'fall behind' in terms of description that I fail to be abreast to others.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    If you are 'falling behind', this means you have started slipping back from your position of being abreast of others.

    If you are 'lagging behind', this means you are already in the position of being some distance behind and failing to catch up.
     
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