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  1. learning54's Avatar
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    #1

    Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    Hi teachers,
    I've looked for the meaning of 'fell back' in a few dictionaries, but none of them seem to fit in the following context.
    Could you tell me a suitable explanation please?

    Then Arthur hit him as hard as he could in the stomach and he fell to the floor heavily. The old lady screamed. The policeman tried to get up, but fell back weakly.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    He tried to get up from the floor but he was too weak to do so. He got up a little way but then fell back down to the floor.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  3. learning54's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    He tried to get up from the floor but he was too weak to do so. He got up a little way but then fell back down to the floor.
    Hi,
    Thank you very much for your reply.
    Could these be suitable explanations too, or they are completely unsuitable?
    a) An explanation to'fell back weakly' is 'descended to the floor with no physical force'.
    b) An explanation to 'fell back weakly' is 'went back down to the floor with no physical force'.

    L.
    Last edited by learning54; 03-Aug-2012 at 07:14.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    Neither really works. We definitely wouldn't explain it as "descended" - that suggests some form of control and we don't use it to mean "to fall".

    "No physical force" doesn't work either. When it says that he fell back weakly, it simply means that he did it in a way which showed that he was feeling very weak. He didn't do it that way on purpose. He simply didn't have the energy to get up (although he didn't realise that) so when he tried to stand up, he failed, and just dropped back to where he was in a weak manner.

    He returned to his original position on the floor in a way that showed he had no energy left.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. learning54's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    He returned to his original position on the floor in a way that showed he had no energy left.
    Hi,
    Thank you very much for your reply.

    What about this 'last one'?
    After the hit he fell to the floor and he made the attempt to get up but he couldn't, due to his weak physical condition.
    Last edited by learning54; 03-Aug-2012 at 08:29.

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    #6

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    After he fell to the floor, he made an attempt...

  6. learning54's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    After he fell to the floor, he made an attempt...
    Hi,
    Thank you very much for your reply.

  7. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    The trouble with 'After he fell to the floor, he made an attempt...' is that (depending on what follows, of course) it doesn't say as much as 'fell back' He might have just realized it was no good trying to get up, and stopped. I don't see what's wrong with fell back' (except that it's a phrasal verb, so causes problems for Spanish speakers!)

    b

  8. learning54's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The trouble with 'After he fell to the floor, he made an attempt...' is that (depending on what follows, of course) it doesn't say as much as 'fell back' He might have just realized it was no good trying to get up, and stopped. I don't see what's wrong with fell back' (except that it's a phrasal verb, so causes problems for Spanish speakers!) b
    Hi,
    Thank you for your reply. Not in this case. The problem is with the definitions the dictionaries provide for this phrasal verb. They don't fit in the sentence, at least to me.
    Another teacher told me, 'The question is whether 'back' means 'returning to his previous position' or 'in a backwards direction'. Either is a possible interpretation'.
    Here are a couple of links.
    fall back - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online
    Fall back - Definition and More from the Free Merriam-Webster Dictionary

    The same problem with the one I have at home, 'Collins Cobuild-Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs'. It doesn't help either.
    L.

  9. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Could you tell me a suitable explanation for 'fell back' in the sentence?

    Quote Originally Posted by learning54 View Post
    The problem is with the definitions the dictionaries provide for this phrasal verb. They don't fit in the sentence, at least to me.
    Life might be simpler if you stopped thinking of 'fall back' as a phrasal verb. Think of 'back' as an adverb, used in a similar way to 'forward' or 'sideways'.

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