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fall [intransitive] to suddenly stop standing

She slipped on the ice and fell.

A tree fell, just missing his car.

fall + adv./prep. I fell over and cut my knee.

The house looked as if it was about to fall down.


Now, a boy ran into a chair & made the chair fall off, can we say "you fell the chair"?

I know that the verb "fall" is not a transitive verb. So, we can say "The chair fell" but we can not say "I fell the chair".

What is the equivalent expression of "to make the chair fall"?

  • Funnily enough, fell does exist and originally was a causitive of fall, so it meant cause to fall. But now it is an archaic word except when used ot trees. – Colin Fine Jan 22 '20 at 15:54
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I assume you mean "made the chair fall over". The typical way to say it would be "you knocked down the chair". Depending on the exact action, you could also say "you pushed the chair over". In other words, you describe the boy's actions, not trying to force "fall" into the sentence.

Just to confuse you, there is difference between "to fall" and "to fell". Fell in this case, actually does mean what you think, but we wouldn't normally use it with a chair.

  • knock down the chair is not typical. You can knock down a thing or person. Typical would be: to knock the chair over – Lambie Jan 22 '20 at 15:25
  • @Lambie, seem, knock down / over are the same oxfordlearnersdictionaries.com/definition/english/… – Tom Jan 22 '20 at 16:41
  • I think "knock something down" works okay if the thing is somehow suspended, or otherwise high up. There was a mirror hanging on the wall but I knocked it down. Or, he was standing on the box when he got knocked down. – OmarL Jan 22 '20 at 16:52

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