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What are the differences between these two prepositions in these sentences:

  • I tripped on the table
  • I tripped over the table

  • I tripped on the rock

  • I tripped over the rock

It seems to me that I tripped on the rock implies to say that someone was walking and stepped on a rock which made him fall away

And I tripped over the rock implies to say that someone was walking, tripped on something and was knocked over the rock (.i.e.: They flew over the rock)

Is this right? Since over means to be above something, having the possibility of touching it of not.

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jan 23 '17 at 22:33

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    Over means over. Tripped on just means tripped because of. But tripped over means you went over the table. – Drew Jan 22 '17 at 6:15
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I tripped on the table — you were walking on top of a table and tripped over something or over your own feet

I tripped over the table — this is a very low table, perhaps 6 to 12 inches high, and you stumbled as your foot hit the edge of the table

I tripped on the rock — you are walking on a huge flat rock and trip over something else

I tripped over the rock — you hit your foot against a rock as you were walking, and stumbled

  • Haseo has it right: to trip over a table implies that you walked into the table and fell over it or onto it. It would be very odd to say "I tripped over my dog", for example, and mean that you were on top of your dog when you tripped – Joe Pinsonault Jan 23 '17 at 22:41

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