ENGLISHMiscellaneous English

FALL VS FELL

Fall & Fell

Both are different verbs. The verb FALL is intransitive and thus does not have an object. The verb FELL is transitive and thus has an object;

Three forms of these verbs:

I II III
Fall Fell Fallen
Fell Felled Felled

1. FALL

1. FALL = suddenly go down onto the ground or towards the ground unintentionally or accidentally, or move from a higher to a lower level, typically rapidly and without control; e.g.

a) The glass fell from my hand and broke.
b) Many trees have fallen due to the storm.
c) Four trees fell in the storm.
d) Bombs could be seen falling from the planes.
e) Oil prices have fallen recently.

NOTE-I: FALL is also a noun. As a noun its meaning is ‘move downwards; e.g.

The constant fall of the rain resulted in floods.

NOTE-II: FALL is an intransitive verb. So it does not have an object. If an object is needed we don’t use FALL, rather we say DROP, etc; e.g.

INCORRECT: While going to that room she fell the glass.
CORRECT: While going to that room she dropped the glass.

INCORRECT: He bumped into a chair and fell his plate.
CORRECT: He bumped into a chair and dropped his plate.

NOTE-III: Similarly, don’t say that someone ‘falls’ a person; e.g.

INCORRECT: He bumped into the girl and fell her.
CORRECT: He bumped into the girl and knocked her down/over. 

FALL DOWN and FALL OFF

A) We use FALL or FALL DOWN when something falls to the ground from its normal position, or dropping of a person standing or walking downwards. When someone who  is standing  or walking falls, they drop downwards  so that  they are  kneeling or lying  on the ground. It emphasises that after falling, the person or the thing is on the ground; e.g.

a) The picture keeps falling down. (from the wall to the ground)
b) He slipped and fell down.
c) She fell and hurt her leg.
d) If your shoes are untied you may trip over them and fall down.
e) Toddlers often fall down when they are first learning to walk.
f) Sangeeta slipped on the icy sidewalk and fell down.

B) We use FALL or FALL OFF if we were not just standing up but were on something and fall, such as you could be sitting on a chair, climbing a ladder, dancing on a table, standing on a big rock, etc. It emphasises that you used to be on something and are now not on it anymore; e.g.

a) Last night Aarush was acting silly. He started dancing on a table and fell off.
b) Heena was standing on a ladder trying to change a light bulb when she slipped and fell off.
c) Akshay climbed on top of the big rock in his yard and fell off.

NOTE-I: When name of the thing from which someone or something falls is given after the verb FALL, it’s necessary to say FALL DOWN/FALL OFF according to the need; e.g.

a) Alok fell down the stairs.
b) Vikas fell off the horse.

NOTE-II: If you want to indicate both the starting point and the ending point of the motion, you can use either of them; e.g.

Abdul fell off the horse onto the ground. OR Abdul fell down from the horse.

NOTE-III: We use FALL, not FALL DOWN, when trees drop their leaves during the autumn; e.g.

INCORRECT: As autumn came and the leaves FELL DOWN from the trees, she began to feel sad.
CORRECT: As autumn came and the leaves FELL from the trees, she began to feel sad.

NOTE-IV: We can’t use FALL DOWN to mean ‘come down from a higher position’; e.g.

INCORRECT: House prices HAVE FALLEN DOWN a lot this year.
CORRECT: House prices HAVE FALLEN a lot this year.

2. FALL = coming down of rain or snow from the sky; e.g.

Rain is falling at the moment.

2. FELL

1. FELL = to cut down a tree; e.g.

a) They felled many trees to provide space for the metro project.
b) They are going to fell many trees to make new ground for cattle to graze on.

2. FELL =to knock someone down with great force, especially in sports; e.g.

a) He eventually felled his opponent with a punch to the head.
b) The boxer was felled by a punch to the head.

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Maha Gupta

Maha Gupta

Founder of www.examscomp.com and guiding aspirants on SSC exam affairs since 2010 when objective pattern of exams was introduced first in SSC. Also the author of the following books:

1. Maha English Grammar (for Competitive Exams)
2. Maha English Practice Sets (for Competitive Exams)

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