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Which of the following sentences is correct?

  • She fell from the bike.
  • She fell off the bike.
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    If she was riding the bike she fell off it. If she was leaning it against the wall and climbing it to reach a can of paint in the garage, she fell from it.
    – mplungjan
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 6:58

2 Answers 2

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Which you should prefer depends on the particular circumstances, and what is being fallen from (or off).

You would usually fall off a bicycle, off the wagon or off the radar.

You might fall off or from the roof or the top of a mountain.

You would usually fall from a tenth-floor balcony, from grace, from a great height or from the top stair.

But both sentences are correct.

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    in general "fall off" implies a sense of movement or detachment from something while "fall from" is related to the location (physical or not - eg: grace).
    – msam
    Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 7:35
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    @msam I agree. To fall off something implies you were on it. The relationship is one of juxtaposition, ie a continuum metaphor. To fall from something implies you were in the containment field it implies, ie a containment metaphor. See Lakoff's work on grounding metaphors. Commented Feb 27, 2014 at 8:22
  • So do you fall from a tree or off a tree?
    – Peter
    Commented Jul 26, 2014 at 14:07
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    @Peter: You fall out of a tree. Commented Feb 19, 2017 at 15:42
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when the process is reversible then use 'off' like 'He fell off the bicycle and got injured' but when the process is irreversible then use 'from' like 'He fell from the terrace and died.'

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    So you would say he fell off the bicycle and was injured but he fell from the bicycle and died? Why? Do you have any references for this distinction? Commented May 4, 2019 at 16:02
  • see bro if he dies by falling from the bicycle then it is obviously a non reversible process because he cannot get up now, but this will not be the case when he gets injured as now he can get up so it is a temporary or reversible process, hope you understand now Commented May 6, 2019 at 11:44

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