to fall/plunge off the mountain road

GandalfMB

Senior Member
Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
Hello,
I came across "His car plunged off the mountain road in heavy rain". Is it possible to say "The car fell off the mountain road straight into a precipice".? To me "fall" sounds very bad in this context, but I can't think of anything else. As if the car were climbing :S:S. I know it sounds bad, but before you lynch me, throw in a few comments, please ;(.


Thank you
 
  • DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    I came across "His car plunged off the mountain road in heavy rain". Is it possible to say "The car fell off the mountain road straight into a precipice"
    Not exactly. :( A "precipice" is a steep rock face like a cliff. But in the context of driving along a mountain road in heavy rain you could say "His car careered over the precipice and plunged into a ravine :eek: "
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Falling is what it does once it's no longer in any control of the situation. If a bridge collapsed, it would fall immediately. To fall down a ravine, it first has to leave the road - such as by plunging over the edge. Then the wheels, engine and so on play no further part in its movement, and it falls.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    The car plunged over the edge and fell down the ravine. - Does it make sense? Why not "The car plunged off the edge and fell down the ravine? Don't get me wrong, please :S. I am not questioning anyone's knowledge of the language, I am just curious and I would like to learn something.

    Thank you both for your help and time
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Not exactly. :( A "precipice" is a steep rock face like a cliff. But in the context of driving along a mountain road in heavy rain you could say "His car careered over the precipice and plunged into a ravine :eek: "
    In the USA "careered" has mistakenly been replaced by "careened".

    "Careered" is correctly used here; "careened" would not be correct. But try to convince an American speaking AE and you will give up. Typically if you said, "careered" someone would offer to "correct" you.

    So in the British Isles, "careered", in the USA I might go with "veered off course". I don't use "careened" myself.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    The car plunged over the edge and fell down the ravine. - Does it make sense? Why not "The car plunged off the edge and fell down the ravine?
    Both "off" and "over" can be used there. There is, however, a problem in changing "precipice" to "ravine". A ravine is a horizontal feature that happens to have steep sides. The stream at the bottom of the ravine flows down the ravine. You have to fall into the ravine before you can travel down the ravine. ;) Try not to change more than one word at a time. :)
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Thank you, Myridon and for some reason I have typed "down the ravine". I meant "into the ravine", you are right. My mistake and I would like to apologize :S. In this context, what is the difference between "career and plunge"? I apologize for the stupid question, but in this context they look quite similar to me. I apologize for the question :(. I hope that nobody would mind :S.

    Thank you
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    In this context, what is the difference between "career and plunge"?
    They're defined in Oxford Dictionaries as:
    career: move swiftly and in an uncontrolled way
    plunge: fall suddenly and uncontrollably

    So a car might "career" off the road and hit a tree, or overturn into a ditch, but it would "plunge" into a ravine.:)
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Thank you very much :). Can't a car "career" off the road and plunge into a ditch? I am just being curious and I hope you don't mind. I think people say "I almost drove into a ditch" for example. Does "plunge" necessarily involve "falling"? Can't a vehicle plunge off the road?

    Thank you :) and please excuse me for asking another question :(
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Can't a car "career" off the road and plunge into a ditch? I am just being curious and I hope you don't mind. I think people say "I almost drove into a ditch" for example. Does "plunge" necessarily involve "falling"? Can't a vehicle plunge off the road?
    According to the dictionary definition I quoted there, "plunge" involves falling. I suppose the car might "plunge" into a ditch full of water, but we don't really talk about a vehicle just "plunging" off the road. :(
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    I think I understand now. Is it correct to say: "The car careered off the road and plunged into a ditch full of water".? I hope it sounds fine.
    Thank you for your help and time, DonnyB :)
     
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