If someone is eating and that falls on the person by mistake, what will be a natural way to describe that? Actually a kid's eating and when he throws it on himself, his mom asks him to be more careful and the boy replies:

I threw it on myself, not you.

It fell on me, not you.

What sounds better #1 or #2? What would you use if neither of these sound natural?

  • I have a sloppy child. I would say, "It spilled on me, not on you." – aparente001 Jun 23 '19 at 5:48

Purely in terms of describing falls on the person by mistake, then I threw it would not be a good fit.

To say I threw it implies intention on the part of the person doing the throwing. If it's unintentional, then, between the two phrases, it fell on me is a better description—because it has no direct agent for the action.

Another way of expressing it could be I dropped it on myself by mistake. The addition of by mistake helps express the fact that it was an accident.

Note that dropped is a specific verb that by mistake works with. It would sound odd to say I threw it on myself by mistake. So, regardless of the additional wording, the verb throw isn't the right choice in this context.

| improve this answer | |
  • So does "it fell on me" sound natural or will it be better to use "it dropped on me."? – It's about English Jun 22 '19 at 13:12
  • 1
    And will it be natural to use "it dropped on me" Or will it only be "I dropped it on me". – It's about English Jun 22 '19 at 13:13
  • 1
    @It'saboutEnglish There's no clear expression that's better. I would personally say I dropped it by mistake (if not something totally different like it was an accident), but there's nothing wrong with the other expressions. (Except for the one with throw, which I would avoid.) – Jason Bassford Jun 22 '19 at 13:16
  • 1
    And should it be "I dropped it on me" Or "I dropped it on myself". – It's about English Jun 22 '19 at 13:27
  • 1
    @It'saboutEnglish It's I dropped it on myself but it dropped on me. The first is reflexive, the second is not. – Jason Bassford Jun 22 '19 at 13:48

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.