Can i say "Tree is fallen" as "considering "fallen" as an adjective instead of "past participle" which will make the sentence passive voice?

I know we cannot say "Tree is fallen" refering to passive voice but Could i say "tree is fallen" or not,if I use "fallen" as an adjective? EG "Tree is fallen" here i am depicting "current state" instead of "passive voice".

2 Answers 2


There is no issue of "passive voice" here: fall is intransitive, so it has no passive.

is fallen must therefore be an adjectival complement.

This is possible, but unusual: fallen is fine as an attributive adjective (a fallen tree), but not common as a predicative adjective (The tree is fallen).

We are far more likely to say The tree has fallen: since this is "present passiveperfect" it has present relevance, and so probably depicts a state resulting from an event.

Note that Tree is fallen is not a grammatical sentence in most circumstances: you need an article, as in my examples.

  • "present passive" did you mean "present perfect"?
    – James K
    Apr 7, 2022 at 22:48
  • Indeed I did, @JamesK. Thank you. Now corrected.
    – Colin Fine
    Apr 8, 2022 at 11:32

Short answer "Don't say '(The) tree is fallen'".

This is part of the usage of the word fallen, Cambridge dictionary notes that "fallen" is used "before noun". Cambridge considers the sense of "a fallen tree" to be an adjective, but this adjective has usage restrictions.

Lexico considers this sense to be part of the verb, and a participle. Lexico only allows for the senses of "having sinned" and "killed in battle" for the adjective. (And Lexico would allow for "the devil is fallen")

In either analysis, you should not say "The tree is fallen".

  • I understood that saying "Tree is fallen" is wrong either way but kindly Correct me if I am wrong, is saying "devil is fallen" correct according to lexico? As i could not find any sentence saying "devil is fallen" in you given link above. Apr 7, 2022 at 22:52
  • 1
    It's not, but Lexico doesn't specify a restriction on the usage of the adjective, and so by default it is unrestricted. In the sense of "having sinned", the word "fallen" can come after the verb. For example "I contend that, for Eliot, neither woman is fallen" source
    – James K
    Apr 7, 2022 at 23:01
  • Past participles can be used as adjectives in phrases like we passed a fallen tree or the devil is a fallen angel, but it would be more natural to say The tree has fallen when making a statement about its condition. Apr 8, 2022 at 7:44

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .