There are two ways to say that you dropped something in German – and I mean the bad dropping, like dropping a glass. Not the good dropping, like dropping a new album or dropping a refined witty remark in a conversation with Germans ;).
So, the first way to say dropping something is etwas fallen lassen, which basically means to let something fall.
- Ich lasse das Bier fallen.
- I drop the beer.
This is something you’d say if you drop something on purpose or you drop it because because you got spooked or something.
If you accidentally drop something, though, like for instance your friend’s phone that slips out of your hand, the second way of saying it is more common.
- Mir ist dein Handy runtergefallen.
- I dropped your phone.
Literally, this sentence says “Your phone dropped down from me.” and so in a way, it’s the phone’s fault. Bad phone, bad bad phone. How can you just drop from my hand.
The phrasing is definitely something to get used to, but it’s worth it because it is super idiomatic and it’s one of those things that’ll make you sound like a native speaker.