I am confused about the following:

  1. He fell on his side/back.
  2. He fell over on his side/back.

I definitely found both versions on google. Could the second version have redundancy with "over", because if a person has fallen in such a way that he ends up on his side/back, he must definitely have fallen over?

1 Answer 1


Fall over is a single term, not just the verb fall with an adverb modifying it. A person, structure, or object falls over when it falls from an upright position to a prone or lying one. A person thrown from a window simply falls, but if he trips on his shoelaces, he may fall over. A building that's dynamited to collapse inward just falls, but if it tips forward like these buildings in China, it falls over.

Both "fell on his side" and "fell over on his side" are grammatical, but fell over rules out some kinds of falling.

  • 1
    Could it be that "fall over" requires continuous contact (pivot point) with the ground?
    – meatie
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 4:21

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