The people who clean the windows must be careful. Some of them die because of the negligence.

If I want to reconstruct this sentence by using the verb fall, how can I use it?

There is a possibility that the windows-cleaners fall down from the windows and die. Thus, they must be careful.

There is a possibility that the windows-cleaners fall from the windows and die. Thus, they must be careful.

Is it fall down or fall?

  • You generally 'reconstruct' a sentence rather than 'redesign' it.
    – Varun Nair
    Feb 15, 2018 at 9:18
  • 6
    Typically, fall down is used when a person stumbles from a standing/walking position and falls to the ground. The child tripped and fell down. When people fall from heights, whether cliffs, ladders, window ledges or whatever, they just fall from or fall off rather than fall down from. Feb 15, 2018 at 11:01
  • @VarunNair or rewrite.
    – Andrew
    Feb 15, 2018 at 17:26
  • Sentences are rewritten, not reconstructed.
    – Lambie
    Feb 15, 2018 at 18:18
  • @RonaldSole You should write an answer.
    – user3169
    Feb 16, 2018 at 6:11

2 Answers 2


Your last sentence is closest saying what you mean, I think.

There is a possibility that the windows-cleaners fall from the windows and die. Thus, they must be careful.

However, depending on whether or not you are talking about window cleaners generally, it would read better if the sentence said something like:

There is a possibility that window cleaners will [or could] fall from their ladders/platforms/ledges and die. Thus, they must be careful.

It seems to me that window cleaners don't actually fall from the windows but more likely from whatever support they may be using.

  • +1 for the last part in particular. The original sentence had me imagining window-cleaners scrambling across the windows spiderman style cleaning as they go.
    – Jontia
    Apr 29, 2021 at 11:28

In your example, just "fall" is fine.

"Fall down" is somewhat idiomatic. To a non-native speaker I can see why it is strange, because surely the nature of gravity means everything falls down meaning "fall down" can seem like a tautology. But sometimes you need it.


She fell down the stairs.

This would be used to describe a situation where someone tumbled down the stairs and landed at the bottom. You need "down" because the sentence would be grammatically incorrect without it.

You could say...

She fell on the stairs.

... but this carries a different inference. Maybe they just fell on one step. It doesn't carry the idea that they continued downwards and landed at the bottom.

Even without that much detail though, you will hear statements like:

She fell down.

You'd normally only say "fall down" if you want to include the inference of someone landing on the floor or ground, because of course something can fall, but be caught before it hits the ground. There is no specific need to include the word "down", certainly not in your example, but in some situations it does differentiate between someone just tripping or stumbling but managing to stop themselves or being caught.

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