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The crewmen fell into the sea as the ship was rocked by a sunken rock.

The crewmen fell in the sea as the ship was rocked by a sunken rock.

The crewmen fell to the sea as the ship was rocked by a sunken rock.

I usually use "fall into", because it sounds better, but I am wondering if these alternative sentences have a similar meaning and are grammatical? What are the differences in meaning though?

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    'Rocked by a rock' is ugly repetition, – Michael Harvey May 23 at 7:46
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Fell to the sea would be wrong as it could imply the sailors fell before i.e. in front of the sea like worshippers falling prostrate to their idol OR they fell to the power of the sea if the sea were some powerful weapon or adversary seeking to kill them.

Fell in the sea is OK and most English speakers would understand and not question your grammar or meaning. Strictly speaking though,'fell in the sea' would if taken literally mean the sailors fell over whilst 'in' the sea e.g. whilst wading to the beach from their ship.

The best one is the sailors fell into the sea i.e.they fell 'into' that great body of water.

Hope this helps. I love this.

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