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The shadow of the moon crept in on the vast valley.

The shadow of the moon _____ the vast valley.

Is there a verb for saying that? I am thinking "projected its shadow onto", but it's a mouthful. The first one is ok, but it's kinda metaphorical, so I want a verb that actually says it non-metaphorically. Also, I am wondering if there's a verb that says the same thing, but without the idea that it's a gradual thing. For example, crept seems to signify that it's gradually projecting its shadows onto the vast valley.

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    Is this about an eclipse of the sun, by any chance? That has nothing to do with the answer, I'm just curious.
    – SamBC
    Mar 14 '19 at 22:03
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    It can be about a giant flying saucer. I wasn't really thinking about a particular example. I just took the first one that came to mind. Mar 14 '19 at 22:03
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    Ah. The "shadow of the moon" implies that it is the moon that is casting the shadow, and the most likely instance of that is a solar eclipse.
    – SamBC
    Mar 14 '19 at 22:05
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    ...or it can be a moon that's about to hit the planet. Mar 14 '19 at 22:10
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    I did say "most likely" ;)
    – SamBC
    Mar 14 '19 at 22:15
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The word for a shadow appearing on something or moving over it is the verb to fall.

The shadow of the moon fell over/onto/in the vast valley.

This is just a specific thing with shadows.

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  • Doesn't fall imply a vertical downward movement? Mar 14 '19 at 22:03
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    @repomonster: Normally, yes. Like I said, it's a specific thing for shadows. I'm sure a linguist might know how that came about, but now it's just the way things are. Shadows fall on things (or over them, or across them, or whatever).
    – SamBC
    Mar 14 '19 at 22:04
  • Weird... It's sounds weird, but ok. Mar 14 '19 at 22:10
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    It gives interesting poetic opportunities.
    – SamBC
    Mar 15 '19 at 10:17
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Not sure, night falls and day breaks. The shadow could certainty creep especially if it was from an ominous thing e.g. the dark shadow of the evil monster 'crept across the wall', 'slipped over the sleeping girl's tightly clenched hands'. Creeping does connote the speed you are looking for, you could also used 'crawled'. I guess if you anthropomorphize the shadow it can do whatever you want e.g. the shadow ran quickly across the river.

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