Hello all. Can you give me some examples to illustrate the difference between fall down and fall through?

Can "a plan falls down" as in the sentence below:

All his plans to start his own business fell down (1)

Is it better if I replace "fell down" with "fell through"? I am quite puzzled because they have almost the same meaning in some dictionaries.

Among its three meanings given, fall down has a meaning as "to fail" as in 

- Where do you think the plan falls down? (2)

As for fall through, it means "to fail to happen" as in: 

- We found a buyer for our house, but then the sale fell through. (3)

Can you, master help me?

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor
Original Post

Hello, Quangco123, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange!

Phrasal verbs don't need to be mutually exclusive. In fact, some of them are similar in meaning and can be used in the same sentences.

Let's compare some examples with "fall down" and "fall through" from the Corpus:

- Technically he is excellent but you have noticed that he is falling down on the supervisory aspects of his job.
The attorney general is supposed to act only when the law enforcement is falling down or broken down in a local community.

- The studio planned to make a movie of the book but the deal fell through.
It was unbelievable -- it took two years to set the whole thing up and it fell through at the last minute!
- The deal fell through because they couldn't get enough money from the bank.
- When an offer to buy the airline fell through, Midway were forced to stop operating.

As I see it, "fall through" is much more usual as a phrasal verb meaning "fail," as well as more definitive. "fall down" can be used in the present to refer to some aspect in which something does not come up to what is expected. It can also be followed by "on" to introduce that aspect which does not meet the expected standards.

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