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Tom fell down the stairs and hurt his leg.

Tom fell down from the stairs and ...

Tom fell down from the upstairs and ...

Do all of the above read good to you? If yes, are there marginal differences in meaning? Thanks.
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Only the 1st is OK
Marius HancuOnly the 1st is OK
Thanks, Marius.

I'm sorry I'm still confused. Why doesn't the second version work?

Tom fell down from the stairs and ...

By the way, if I reword the third one into the following, does it read good mean about the same as the first?

Tom fell down from the upstairs and ...
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AngliholicTom fell down the stairs and hurt his leg. OK

Tom fell down from the stairs and ... This sounds as though he fell off the side of the flight of stairs (i.e. perhaps the railing broke)

Tom fell down from the upstairs and ... This might possibly work if there were no stairway at all. In other words if he fell from the second level of a building through a hole in the floor to the ground level.

Yankee
AngliholicTom fell down the stairs and hurt his leg. OK

Tom fell down from the stairs and ... This sounds as though he fell off the side of the flight of stairs (i.e. perhaps the railing broke)

Tom fell down from the upstairs and ... This might possibly work if there were no stairway at all. In other words if he fell from the second level of a building through a hole in the floor to the ground level.

Thanks, Amy.

But there is still a little confusion--why did you leave the particle "down" out in the second version? It sounds so right to me.
You could also say "Tom fell downstairs..."

I agree with Yankee's interpretations of the others.
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KhoffYou could also say "Tom fell downstairs..."

I agree with Yankee's interpretations of the others.

Thanks, Khoff.

To be clear, which is closest in meaning to your version?

Second, why doesn't "Tom fell down from the stairs" work?

It occurred just to me that it seems ok to say "Tom fell down from the sky."
I think - if you are picturing the side railing breaking and the person tumbling sidewise right off the stairs - that "Tom fell [down] off the stairs" is the clearest. It shows that he "departed" the stairs. It's so unlikely though. I do find that the "down" is optional - it's fine without it, but not wrong with it.

You can say "He fell from the sky" without the "down" also. If you think about it, which direction could somoene who is coming from the sky be falling? Only down. So if you leave it out, it' still quite clear.

The word "falling" in itself implies a downward direction, so if you can leave it out and remain grammatical and clear, you probably should.
Hi, Angliholic. I would say that "fell downstairs" is closest to "fell down the stairs." Similarly, you could say "Tom ran downstairs " or "Tom ran down the stairs." In each pair, "downstairs" emphasizes the result (he was upstairs, now he's downstairs) while "down the stairs" emphasizes the process and the actural physical stairs (he ran down the old, rickety stairs).

As for "Tom fell down from the stairs" or "Tom fell down from the sky" -- I wouldn't say they're actually incorrect, but "down" is redundant -- when people fall, then generally fall down, not up. (Although I suppose that if you were walking up the stairs and tripped, you could manage to "fall up the stairs.") If there is some other description of the location of the falling, you don't need "down."

Tom fell. (okay by itself)

Tom fell down. (also okay --adds a bit of emphasis)

Tom fell off the chair/porch/roof (okay)

Tom fell down off the chair/porch/roof (redundant)

In "Tom fell down the stairs," you need "down" because the location of the falling is "down the stairs." You can't just say "Tom fell the stairs." (But you could say "Tom fell on the stairs." That would suggest that he fell, but ended up sitting or sprawling at about the same place on the staircase as he was before he fell, not lower down.)

Does that help?
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