What's the difference between them? Example: A fallen tree blocked the path and we had to climb over it. Why can't we say "climb it" in this sentence.

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    You can certainly say that if you wish, but it will cause confusion, because "climb a tree" means to ascend up the branches of the tree. – Hot Licks Nov 20 '19 at 20:15
  • Agreed, @Hot Licks. ‘Climbing’ implies ascending a vertical thing, while ‘climbing over’ implies getting over a horizontal obstacle. – David Garner Nov 21 '19 at 19:37

"Climb a tree" means that you are going up into the tree. Generally this means you're sitting in the branches for some period of time.

"Climb over a tree" means you climb the tree and then come down the other side. I've only seen this used idiomatically if a tree has fallen into a path and you must climb it to keep traveling down your path.

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    You would probably say 'climb over a tree trunk', or 'climb over a fallen tree'. – Michael Harvey Nov 20 '19 at 21:08
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    "Climb over a treec" almost makes it clear that the tree is fallen. You cannot climb over a standing tree unless it is tiny. – Walter Mitty Nov 21 '19 at 1:31

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