what is the difference between "fell" and "fall" while they are both in present simple tense? (or to fell and to fall)

When I want to say on something that it felled, but in the present simple tense, can use both words? (fell and fall)?


2 Answers 2


When used in the present tense, "to fell" has a very different meaning from "to fall":

to cut down (a tree)

to beat or knock down (someone or something)

The past tense of "fell" is "felled". For example:

Thor felled his enemies with one mighty blow of his hammer.

It isn't an archaic word, but it can have a mythical or literary feel when used, like something out of stories, legends, or comic books. You should only use it if you fully understand its nuance. Otherwise you would say "cut down", "knocked over", "pushed off", or any of various other actions that would cause something to fall.

  • 1
    Historically, to fell is a causative formed from to fall ("cause to fall"), just as lay is a causative from lie and raise from rise; but that history has no particular significance in modern speech.
    – Colin Fine
    Oct 2, 2016 at 21:16

Fall means simply to fall like leaves fall from trees while fell means to make something fall like he felled his opponent in the battle.

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