fall from/off

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American English
Hi, I did due diligence, and looked through several existing threads on this, but I'm still not positive what the deal is.

He fell off/from the chair.

I instinctively used "from" in another forum, and someone said its wrong (but the person was not at native speaker of English).

I could also be wrong.

Does anyone else use "from"? Or is it maybe regional?

Does anyone consider it outright incorrect?
  • Alby84

    Senior Member
    American English
    Hmm, I would say he fell off his chair. He fell from his chair sounds odd to me. If another native speaker said "he fell from his chair" to me, however, I'm not sure I would even pick up on it. It could be regional.

    For example, when a New Yorker says they're waiting "on line," this just sounds wrong to me, even though I know it's a regional thing.


    Senior Member
    UK English
    It may be to do with the height from which you fall, e.g. you fall from a height.
    For example, someone would fall from a plane. If they fell off the plane, this would suggest they were climbing on a plane on the ground.


    Senior Member
    American English
    I would say "he fell from the third storey window," but in contrast I would also say "he fell off the cliff." Both of these refer to height. Would anyone else say different?


    Senior Member
    USA English
    It seems rather simple to me, but I have a simple mind.

    If one was previously ON something, i.e. supported, with really close contact, i.e. a chair, ladder, scaffold, wagon, horse etc. he/she fell OFF it.

    Thus I fell off a chair but from a window and from an airplane. If it's a roof (ouch) it could go either way.

    This is a generality, of course, and we're probably better to consider it a case-by-case situation.

    (cross-posted with srk :thumbsup:)
    Last edited:
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