Skip links

To fall short (of)

Context #1:

Gabriel: Do you have any idea what this
meeting is about today?
Katie: Apparently, we fell short of our monthly goal again.
Gabriel: Oh no! I thought sales were up
this month.
Katie: Maybe in your department, but
overall, our sales are down.

Meaning: The expression “to fall short (of)” means to fail to reach a
target. It’s often used with the preposition “of” when the target or
goal is used as an object, as in the example above, where the company Gabriel
and Katie work for failed to reach their monthly sales goal. It can also be
used without “of,” as in the next example:

Context #2

Monica: Did you watch the game?
Wayne: What a disaster!
Monica: I know! I had such high
expectations for our team, and they were winning in the first half!
Wayne: Yeah, they really fell short in the second half.

Meaning: Wayne uses the expression “to fall short (of)” to say that the team failed
to reach their target of winning. Notice that because he doesn’t mention what
the goal was, he does not use “of.” 


  1. Post comment

    Thanks for sharing, buddy … You are our rock … We love you … Can't wait for more …
    A quick question if we may: we've heard two verbal phrases from our US contacts – "fall flat" and 'fall through' – which of them stands closer in meaning to 'fall short'? Or are they used in an entirely different context? …

    Your true Russian fans

    1. Post comment

      Dear, Russian students

      Fall short means to fail to reach a target or goal because of a lack of something (usually money or time). For example, the company's earnings fell short of what was expected. Fall flat means to fail to produce an intended or expected effect. For example, the man's jokes fell flat (they were not funny). Fall through means to come to nothing or to fail. For example, the project fell through due to lack of money. Therefore, "fall short" and "fall through" are closer in meaning, but used differently depending on context. Thank you 😉

    2. Post comment

      Thanks a bunch for clearing up the issue for us … Highly appreciated …
      You're the best … We love you …

      Your true Russian fans


Join the Discussion