Falling (off) vs dropping something

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GeogeHalin

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello members!

Suppose you live in an apartment. And you just washed some clothes and need to hang them up. There's a string attracted to the balcony that you can use to do that, (I hope you know what I mean.) So you are hanging them up. You mom is at home watching you do that. You hang one clothes, but you don't attract it to the strong very securely, before you finish hanging it, you loose the grip, it falls to the ground before you can catch it. And you say, "Oops,...."
1. It fell.
2. It fell off.
3. I dropped it.

Can you say 1, or 2 if you are the reason it fell?
I think you could, but it sounds like you are not blaming yourself for that. And if yes, should we say 'off'? I think not.
I believe saying 3. would be correct.

What so you think?
What would you say?

Thank you!
 
  • nazrhyn

    Member
    English - US
    "to drop" works transitively and intransitively (wiki).
    "I dropped." & "I dropped the puppy." ("I dropped." is somewhat strange, but just means your vertical position in space has been reduced.)

    "to fall" only works intransitively (for all the definitions I'm aware of).
    "to fall" really likes to have a prepositional phrase after it, such as: "down the hill", "after being knocked out".

    So...

    "It fell."
    Gravity acted on it and it descended towards the center of the earth until it hit something. No explanation is given for why or from where.
    You can say this even if all you did was observe it happen, and you wanted to bring that to someone's attention.

    "It fell off."
    "to fall off" is a Phrasal Verb. It pretty well requires either a phrase like "of ______" or what it fell off of needs to have been established prior to saying, "It fell off." I'm not sure how to describe that in grammar terms.

    "I dropped it."
    The only requirement here is that either you did, in fact, drop it, or you're lying about dropping it :).
     
    Last edited:

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Can you say 1, or 2 if you are the reason it fell?
    I think you could, but it sounds like you are not blaming yourself for that. And if yes, should we say 'off'? I think not.
    I believe saying 3. would be correct.
    You are completely right. :thumbsup: :)
     
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