fall behind と be left behind の違い

遅れを取るという意味で「fall behind」と「be left behind」は似ています。

では、両者に意味の違いがあるのでしょうか? もしあるとしたら、どのように使い分けたらよいのでしょうか?

You’ve got to keep up with it. Once you fall behind, it’s hard to catch up.

Stop clinging to your glory days, or you’ll be left behind.


What’s the difference between ‘fall behind’ and ‘be left behind’?

“Fall behind” and “be left behind” are both phrases that suggest not keeping up with others, but they have different nuances and typical usage contexts.

  1. Fall behind:
  • “Fall behind” generally refers to failing to keep pace with others or not staying on schedule. It implies a process or progression in which someone is gradually losing pace or not meeting the expected standards or timelines. It can be used in academic, professional, or general life contexts.
  • For example, in an academic context, a student might “fall behind” in their studies if they don’t understand the material as quickly as their classmates. In a race, a runner might “fall behind” if they can’t maintain the pace set by the other runners.
  1. Be left behind:
  • “Be left behind” suggests being forgotten or abandoned, or not being able to keep up with the progress of others, leading to a situation of exclusion or obsolescence. It often carries a sense of neglect or not being included in moving forward. It can refer to people in social situations, or to objects or concepts that are no longer current or useful.
  • For example, in a social context, if a group of friends goes on a trip and accidentally forgets one person, that person is “left behind.” In the context of technology, an old model of a phone might be considered “left behind” when new models with advanced features are released.

In summary, “fall behind” is more about losing pace or progression in a process, while “be left behind” is about being excluded, abandoned, or becoming obsolete in a changing context.

要約すると、「fall behind」のほうが、周りのみんなのペースについて行けずに落ちこぼれた感じがあり、「be left behind」のほうは、忘れて置き去りにされた感じがあります。場合によってはどちらも同じように使えますが、このあたりのニュアンスの違いをうまく掴んで使いこなしたいですね。