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What are the difference between "fall over" & "fall down" "fall off" & "fall out of .." ?
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Aussie88 profile picture Aussie88January 2015

To fall over

Fall over is most commonly used to describe someone tripping over something.


To fall down

To fall down can also be used in the same way as fall over but not commonly. Fall down means to, like it suggests, fall down something, but not over. So you can fall down a flight of stairs but you cannot fall down a cliff. Okay, so you can fall off a cliff or anything really that has a substantial gap between the object you were on before you fell and the object you landed on after you fell.


To fall out

The best example of falling out is to fall out of love or out of friendship. It is to fall from either an emotional or physical object. So strangely enough you can fall out of a plane but not a cliff. This is because you are not in a cliff but you are on a cliff.


To fall out of

To fall out of something you must be in it. As for being in love, this is emotional and you are in this with another. This is confusing I know but I hope it helped.

  • exRanger profile picture exRangerFebruary 2020
    In The USA, this explanation is precisely OPPOSITE:

    1. To FALL DOWN is the is (by far) the most commonly used "expression" to describe someone tripping over something.

    2. To FALL OVER is a (distant) second to FALL DOWN in America, so the English learner, in this instance, must ask him/herself if he'she prefers to speak English in the AMERICAN STYLE or the Aussie/NZ/British fashion. While the future of the English Language is clearly AMERICAN, y'all do what'cha want, I reckon. (-;

    The remaining two expressions, i.e., To FALL OUT and To FALL OUT OF are, in American usage, identical to the Aussie/Kiwi/UK style.

  • Aussie88 profile picture Aussie88January 2015
    To sum up.... 'Jim fell over a rock while hiking, he then fell down the hill. As Jim was falling he couldn't stop so he fell off the edge off a cliff. By some miracle Jim survived and he was put in an ambulance. As the ambulance was driving the back door opened and Jim fell out and onto the road.'
Reishii profile picture ReishiiAugust 2019

Alternatively, to have a "Falling Out" is an occurence wherein two or more people who were once friends have a major disagreement, and do not get along anymore. Example: "Janet and Freddy used to be best friends. But then, they had a falling out after Freddy kissed Janet's boyfriend."