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Consider:

Sales always fall off in the winter months.

Sales always fall in the winter months.

Sales always fall down in the winter months.

Sales always fall back in the winter months.

Are these all acceptable versions? I guess the 3rd one is not. What about the others? which is preferred in common use?

  • Why use adverbial particles (off, on...etc) when the sentence without it is meaningful in the context? Sales always fall in the winter months is short, sweet and to-the-point. Sales fall off, in, down, back won't really make much difference if you are talking about the regular fall of sales in winter months. – Maulik V Apr 14 '14 at 5:12
  • good read here... macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/fall – Maulik V Apr 14 '14 at 5:14
2

All are grammatical and would be understood.

1 or 2 would be preferred.

3 would be least appropriate because "fall down" is commonly used for people.

4 is less commonly used.

Other possibilities: Sales always drop off in the winter months. Sales always die down in the winter months.

Or you could avoid the idiom altogether and say, Sales always decrease in the winter months.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thx! BTW, let me guess. The reason why you use "would" in your answer is that you are not referring to any actual conversation but only your thoughts about it. Right? – Kinzle B Apr 13 '14 at 14:36
  • @ZhanlongZheng Right! – relaxing Apr 15 '14 at 3:01

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