Fall <or> Fall over <or> Fall down?

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A-friend

Senior Member
Persian (Farsi)
I was wondering if you could help me to fill in the following example:
Example: Yesterday when I was walking on the street, I tripped over a stone and I………………..
a) fell
b) fell down
c) fell over
-----------------------------
{I have made this example myself.}
{I have read all of the relative threads.}
[actually bringing up this example I am going to realize the difference between “fall”, “fall over” and “fall down” in usage.]
I think all of them can be used and mean the same think; of course they must have some subtle nuances. As I mentioned, I have read all of the relative threads. According to the points which had been mentioned in these threads, I found that "I fell down" means I hit the ground in a fall. We can say: "I fell over" [something big]. Example: I fell over [a cliff], but somehow survived. You can fall over something or someone, but fall down by yourself. There are different examples.
Accordingly “a” and specially “b” work here, but “c” does not work. But I think “c” should work too! (though I doubt).
 
  • Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    I fell over is perfectly normal BE for this situation. We use it both with and without an indirect object - I fell over, phrasal verb - I fell over a cliff, intransitive verb with indirect object.
     

    A-friend

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    In the US, some may use I fell over, but it would sound a little weird. Imagine the sound of it: "tripped over......fell over".
    Thanks Qualityservant
    Now I got a point that there an AE and BE difference here; as you and dear Andy mentioned, the phrasal verb "fall over" mostly is used in Britain. But would you please be so kind as to let me know what was wrong with the sound of "tripped over......fell over"?
    Meanwhile as you cited:
    To your example, I also think "b" is the best answer in this case
    well; why "a" and "c" are not your pick out of here? :confused: I wonder if you describe a little more. :)
     
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    Qualityservant

    Senior Member
    English-USA
    To be clear, we also use "fell over" in the US; it just wouldn't be the best choice in this example. Because you already said "tripped over a stone", we already know what "I" went over, making the use of "over" seem redundant. "Tripped over a stone" implies to me that "I" would be falling toward the ground; hence, my choice for "b". Answer "a" is also correct but doesn't imply I would touch the ground. By the way, both "a" and "b" would sound even better if you didn't say the pronoun "I" before them.
     

    A-friend

    Senior Member
    Persian (Farsi)
    you already said "tripped over a stone", we already know what "I" went over, making the use of "over" seem redundant. "Tripped over a stone" implies to me that "I" would be falling toward the ground; hence, my choice for "b".
    We know that the phrasal verbs "trip over", "trip on" and "stumble on" can work interchangeably (at least most of the times); having this point in the mind, what about using "trip on" or "stumble on" instead of "trip over" in this example? Then will the vocal problem be obviated? ;)
     
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