Mini Lesson: Down

I haven’t done a lesson in a while, so let’s look at the word down.

Mini Lesson: Down

By Janice Seagraves


The word down is a direction, if used correctly it can indicate where things are headed. But I tend to find it creeping into my sentences and I bet I’m not the only one.

Example: Roger sat down on the chair.

Here we see down used to indicate that Roger is sitting, but in this sentence down is a given so we don’t really need it.

Correct: Roger sat on the chair.

Example: Roger walked down the street.

Again the word down is a given. He wouldn’t be floating along the street, now would he?

Correct: Roger walked along the street.

Example: Roger set his coffee cup down on the table.

Again down is a given.

Correct: Roger set his coffee cup on the table.

Example: Roger looked down at the small child.

A small child will be lower than a grown man (we hope) unless the child is up a tree.

Correct: Roger looked at the small child.

You’ll find deleting down in your writing will lower your word count, which is always a good thing.

When is it okay to use down? You can use down to indicate a direction.

Example: The cat climbed down the tree.

Example: The leaf floated down.

Example: The bird fluttered down onto the lawn.