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  1. Banned
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    #1

    stumble vs. trip sb

    Person A: Why your face is black and blue?
    Person B: The bully in my class "stumbled" or "tripped" me by sticking out his leg when I passed by.

    Are these words same in this case? As I know, "stumble" can cause fall as well as almost fall and "trip" always causes fall. Is it correct?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: stumble vs. trip sb

    No. You can trip someone else, but you can only stumble (yourself), and it suggests an accident.
    If someone else deliberately trips you, use that form: he tripped me.

    You can trip or stumble. I don't see much difference when it refers to, for example, a rock in your path. Perhaps -- I wonder if others see it the same -- if you stumble, you catch yourself before you fall, but when you trip, you may fall to the ground.

    I stumbled over the uneven cobblestones and almost fell.
    I tripped over the uneven cobblestones and bruised my knee.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  3. Skrej's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: stumble vs. trip sb

    Personally, I don't consider any distinction between the two regarding falling/almost falling. The dictionary supports them as synonymous (in regards to literal and metaphorical balance), using "to fall or almost fall" in both definitions.

    Surprisingly, there is a transitive entry listed for 'stumble', but I've never, ever, heard of stumbling someone. To me, it's only intransitive.

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    #4

    Re: stumble vs. trip sb

    Quote Originally Posted by jokaec1 View Post
    Person A: Why your face is black and blue?

    Why is your face black and blue?
    Note how person A should have asked the question.

  4. Newbie
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    #5

    Re: stumble vs. trip sb


  5. Banned
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    #6

    Re: stumble vs. trip sb

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If someone else deliberately trips you, use that form: he tripped me.
    If someone trips me indeliberately, can I say "He tripped me accidently / by accident."?

  6. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: stumble vs. trip sb

    Yes, you probably could say someone accidentally tripped you as well, but you can also say you tripped over his foot that you didn't notice was in the aisle.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #8

    Re: stumble vs. trip sb

    If, like me, you thought jokaec's use of indeliberately was incorrect, it is actually listed in a few dictionaries.

    However, it is very rarely used and should be avoided. Click here.

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