What fell there?


What has fallen there?

I presume both are correct in AmE.

But I've read in Michael Swan's Practical English Usage that it is preferable to

use Simple Past when we want to identify the person, thing, or circumstance responsible for a present situation

-- namely, some scattered shards of glass in the next room or things of that nature.

1 Answer 1


Most people would probably ask, "What fell?" If you need to identify the location, you might say, "What fell over there?"

"What has fallen there?" is correct English, but sounds formal or old-fashioned.

  • I know that Americans don't often use Present Perfect in such situations. For example, if you've just cleaned your shoes you may say "I just cleaned my shoes" but a Briton would say "I have just cleaned my shoes". Are you American? Might it be the reason why it sounds formal and old-fashioned to you?
    – Let
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 15:14
  • @Rusletov, yes, I am an American. A British person may be more likely to say "What has fallen there?"
    – SarahT
    Commented Apr 9, 2020 at 17:52

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