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As you know, some prepositions such as into, onto and unto may be used with movement verbs, which is the case of: I knocked something into, I dropped something into, I put something into...

Anyway, can these prepositions be used with verbs such as slip and slide?

I slipped into the hole - It would mean that I slipped on something and fell into a hole as I slipped.

I slid into a hole - It would mean I slid on probably a wet floor and fell into a hole. (Basically the same as above)

I know it could possibly sound like I slid/slipped in the hole (which doesn't make sense) because people normally use: I slipped/slid on a wet floor/the ground/ the floor... However, since I added in/on + to it becomes a movement, which implies to say I'm going towards that direction: Into the hole = Inside the hole.

I have two questions: Could it possibly be right (grammatically) even if it sounded awkward to say something like: I slipped/slid into the hole?

And: Even if saying the above suggestion is correct, saying: I slipped/slid and fell into the hole would sound better?

migrated from english.stackexchange.com Jan 27 '17 at 16:19

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  • This question is better asked on our sister site, English Language Learners; I've kicked off the process to migrate it there. FYI, "I slipped into the hole" does not necessarily imply you fell. You can skip into something intentionally, without falling. – Dan Bron Jan 27 '17 at 14:18
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I slipped into the hole - It would mean that I slipped on something and fell into a hole as I slipped.

It could also mean you did it intentionally.

I slipped/slid between the sheets.

I slipped into the alley so my pursuer would not find me.

I slid into first before the baseman could touch me.

If it was unintentional, then you must make that clear/qualify it.

I slipped and fell into the hole.

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It is grammatically correct to say

I slipped/slid into the hole

And is in fact more natural.

Although, when describing an event, it depends which came first.

I slipped and fell into the hole

Means that you slipped first (probably on something, like a banana skin) and then fell into the hole as a result of the slip

I fell and slid into the hole

Means that you fell first (probably over something, like a low railing) and then slipped down a hill as a result of the fall, conveniently, right into a hole.

To be clear, slid and slipped are interchangeable, although in certain contexts, one might make more sense over the other, although both should be understood in the vast majority of contexts.

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