As a non native English speaker, I am sometimes in an interesting situation when communicating with my 4 year old in English.

Recently he has been 'knocking over' the Christmas tree, and I am at loss for words how to tell him not to. He is playing with the tree's ornaments and pulling on the branches to deliberately bring it down. Not bumping into to (which is what, in my mind, 'knocking over' suggests)

The first things came to my mind were:

Don't push the tree
Don't fall the tree (I realize this is grammatically wrong)
Don't bring the tree down

After brief Googling, I think 'Knock Over' and 'Topple' are more appropriate, but they still feel like overkill to use as simple everyday language.

What is the best way to say, in simple words, not to knock the Christmas tree over to the floor?

  • 1
    "Don't knock the tree over!" is what 99.9% of native speakers would shout. "Don't topple the tree!" is 100% grammatical but of very low idiomaticity. Dec 6 '20 at 16:58
  • 1
    Actually, "topple" is fairly idiomatic in the US, but it's most often used metaphorically, as in "topple the regime of the dictator".
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 6 '20 at 17:00
  • thesaurus.com/browse/topple
    – Hot Licks
    Dec 6 '20 at 17:01

Don't knock the tree over!

Don't push the the tree over!

Stop knocking/pushing the tree over!

  • Thanks, please see my 'edit' in the question - he is not really pushing or knocking( buming into it), but deliberately pulling on the branches to bring it down. Is there something to better represent that. Thanks
    – Gadam
    Dec 6 '20 at 17:36
  • 1
    Stop pulling the tree over! Dec 6 '20 at 17:43

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