Lisa's week

lisas week teaser

Lisa's week: Quip tip of the week - Feel vs fall etc.

There are a few verbs that get a bit confused by many people and I’d like to talk about two of them today.

The first is the pair: to feel and to fall.

Both of these verbs are irregular and the past forms are quite similar in sound if not in meaning, which might be the problem. I hear students use the past form of the wrong verb, which can make the sentence sound strange and confusing!

The type of incorrect sentence I hear is, “My son felt while playing football yesterday and hurt his knee.” The correct word to use would have been “fell”.


  • To feel means “fühlen
    • Present:feel/feels
      • “How do you feel today?”
    • Past:felt
      • “Yesterday, I felt unwell all day so I went to bed really early.”
    • Past participle:felt
      • “I’ve got an awful headache. I have felt bad since I got up this morning!”


  • To fall means “fallen/stürzen
    • Present:fall/falls
      • “In autumn, the leaves fall off the trees.”
    • Past:fell
      • “Yesterday my phone fell out of my pocket and smashed on the floor! It’s broken!”
    • Past participle:fallen
      • “Where is the remote control for the TV?” “I don’t know, I haven’t seen it. Perhaps it has fallen down the back of the sofa. Check there.”


Next up is the pair: to stand and to stay.

I think the problem here is that “to stay” is a regular verb and sounds a bit like the German word “stehen” which is the meaning of the other verb! Confusing, isn’t it?

The type of incorrect sentence I hear is, “I stayed at the bus stop in the rain waiting for the bus to arrive. I got totally wet.” The correct word to use would have been “stood”.


  • To stay means “bleiben/übernachten
    • Present:stay/stays
      • “Wow, she always stays at the Ritz Hotel when she goes to London.”
    • Past:stayed
      • “We had so much work to do yesterday that I stayed until after 7pm trying to finish.”
    • Past participle:stayed
        “Our holiday was amazing. We would have stayed there forever if we had had the chance!”


  • To stand (up) means “(auf)stehen
    • Present:stand/stands
      • “A shop assistant must stand for most of their work day which must be really tiring.”
    • Past:stood
      • “The train was so full that I stood for most of the journey. I should have reserved a seat.”
    • Past participle: stood
      • “I really must move the printer onto my desk. I have stood up and gone over to collect some printouts a million times today! It’s driving me crazy.”


Do you make any of these mistakes? Hopefully, this will help you identify the right word to use at the right time.


What is Lisa's week?

"We’ve (hopefully) been entertaining you so far with the meaning and background of a weekly English idiom and now we’ve decided to expand that a little to give me the chance to share some details that come my way in my daily life as a Business English teacher. I hope to find weekly tidbits of information and experience to tell you about such as British traditions that I (or we) celebrate, or typical mistakes made when speaking English, or even some of the funny things I come across in my daily life. We hope that you’ll enjoy the insight into the life of a Brit in Germany!"


Episode 1: The Queen's 90th birthday

Episode 2: What did you do last Sunday?

Episode 3: What's the best way to answer?

Episode 4: The sound of London

Episode 5: Not just a last resort

Episode 6: Quick tip of the week: advice vs. advise

Episode 7: Title talk

Episode 8: The Union Jack

Episode 9: Why Thursday?

Episode 10: Quick tip of the week - Are you watching or just looking?

Episode 11: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

Episode 12: Don't forget to take you handy to the public viewing!

Episode 13: Up in the Highlands

Episode 14: Quick tip of the week - "Popular" false friends

Episode 15: Pie in the sky 

Episode 16: Through the tunnel

Episode 17: Keep left!

Episode 18: Quick tip of the week - Rise vs. raise vs. arise

Episode 19: How do you say that?

Episode 20: Back to School!

Episode 21: Sweet cravings

Episode 22: Can you change a fiver?

Episode 23: Grabbing some "me time"

Episode 24: Typical Mistakes (part 1)

Episode 25: Fancy a cuppa?