Which of the sentences below is/are correct? It is a matter of prepositions.

  1. I saw a ball fall out of a window.
  2. I saw a ball fall from a window.
  3. I saw a ball fall off a window.

I am not quite sure which preposition should be used in the case with "a window". Thank you.

  • Either 1 or 2 could be used. 2 is the likeliest. Sep 30, 2020 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


The most likely phrasings would be

I saw a ball thrown from the window.
I saw a ball thrown out of the window.
I saw a ball dropped from the window.

Since those actions (drop,throw) would lead to such an event occurring. If you really didn't see how it started, and only know that it's "falling", can you even be sure it came from the window? Maybe it's falling from the roof instead.

Another option:

I saw a ball roll (or fall) off the window ledge.

with that same image in mind, this makes sense:

I saw the ball fall from the window (ledge).

Finally, if none of those options work, your original sentences with "from" or "out of" are probably acceptable.

  • Can I substitute the indefinite article "a" for "the" before "window" ? Would your sentences still be grammatical after mentioned substitution?
    – Vova
    Oct 1, 2020 at 0:12
  • Yes, both are grammatical. Depending on the situation, you will probably prefer "a" or "the". Each one means something different. So, if there is a large building with hundreds of windows, you might say "I saw somebody threw a ball out of a window". One of many. If it's a small house, more likely "He threw a ball out the window" (thinking of a specific window)
    – Sam
    Oct 1, 2020 at 1:07

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