Can anyone help me understand the difference between bumping one's head on something and bumping it against it? Is there any substantial difference or are they used interchangeably?

  • Try the ELL site for this one. Please expand "sth" to a normal word.
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 10:24
  • e.g. "to bump your head on/against the ceiling/shelf/door"
    – jaandzia
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 10:35
  • (1) click "Edit". spell out "sty" properly. (2) this question should be on the ELL site, good luck!
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 10:37
  • @Joe I disagree about this being an ELL question. The way it is phrased makes it seem like one, but the underlying question is a good one. There is a difference between bumping your head on the door and bumping your head against the door, but I’m having quite a hard time figuring out even to myself what precisely that difference is. Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 11:05
  • Janus BJ ... ok !
    – Fattie
    Commented Oct 11, 2014 at 11:17

1 Answer 1


"Bump on something" refers to the physical act of running into something. The most common usage of "against something" seems to be as a metaphor, as in "She bumped against the glass ceiling".

  • She bumped against something is a different construction from She bumped her head on/against something. In addition, when I collide with the furniture, I never bump on the furniture, but I bump against it.
    – pazzo
    Commented Oct 12, 2014 at 2:51

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