There is a bottle in upright position on the table. After a while I see it lying on the table.

What is/are the correct/idiomatic verb(s) to use to express that someone must have affected the bottle so it is now lying?

A. Someone must have take it down.

B. Someone must have bring it down.

C. Someone must have knocked it down.

How do you say? I made up the above A-C, and I don't know if they're correct.

  • 1
    Is this a multiple choice question from a test? Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 15:29
  • 1
    D. Someone must have knocked it over. Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 15:35

1 Answer 1


These answers are in the past tense so should use the past tense form of the verb.

A. Someone must have taken it down.

B. Someone must have brought it down.

C. Someone must have knocked it down.

'Take down' is used for structures and more permanent fixtues. For example you might take down a poster or a treehouse.

'Bring down' is used when there is some continous action instead of one quick blow. You might bring down a rugby player with a long tackle or bring down a government by mounting a revolution.

'Knock down' is used for anything that normally stands upright that is hit or pushed forcefully and falls over. 'Knock down' can also mean demolish a building.

You can see from these that 'knock down' is the most appropriate of the options. As Weather Vane has said in the comments, an alternative more natural sounding option would be "Someone must have knocked it over". The difference is that 'knock down' requires a falling action and so it often used for larger objects such as a door. A standard bottle doesn't have much room to fall so 'knock over' sounds better

  • You can take down a bottle from a high location. It is the wrong phrase in this case, but if I see a bottle sitting on a table that I had left on a high shelf, I could say, "Someone must have taken it down." Commented Dec 1, 2020 at 20:29

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