He stumbled/tripped over a plastic tricycle lying around on the front lawn, got back up, and walked up to the front door.

As I understand it you don't necessarily fall to the ground if you stumble or trip over something, but will it be assumed? Or would I have to make it clear?

Is one of them a better choice than the other if "he" does fall to the ground?

Thank you.

1 Answer 1


To stumble means to "momentarily lose one's balance; almost fall" so this implies that you do not fall to the ground. (definition from Oxford dictionary, via google)

So in your case I'd use "trip" which means "catch you foot and stumble or fall". So it includes the possibility that you fall. With your sentence, the part "...got back up..." provides the context that he did trip and fall.

If you wanted to be explicit then "He tripped and fell over the tricycle..." is also possible.

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