(someone) fell flat on (their) face

To "fall flat on your face" means to fall down straight, without breaking your fall with your hands. "Falling flat on your face" sounds painful and dramatic. English speakers sometimes use this phrase when telling a story, to make the story sound more exciting and dramatic.

He was walking out of the door, and he missed one of the steps on the porch, and then – BAM – he fell flat on his face on the sidewalk.

This phrase appears in these lessons: