Above or over? – Global-Learning.ro
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Above or over?

Above and over can be used as adverbs or prepositions.

Both of them express ‘higher than’, but there are some differences:

  • as preposition, we use above when something is at a higher position, but it doesn’t touch a person or an object, there is no contact between them.

Example: I see a plane above the city.

  • as preposition, over has a similar meaning, but expresses that a higher object covers or even touches a lower object, so there is a contact between them.

Example: It is raining outside, hold the umbrella over your head! – (it covers)

  • As adverbs, above indicates only location and not movement, while over indicates both location and movement.

Examples: I am fascinated by the sky and the stars above.

They climbed over the mountain.

  • We use above or over when we talk about temperature:

Example: The temperature is above 35 degrees in summer. (or … over 35 degrees.)

Attention: When the temperature is zero or (the) average, we use above NOT over:

Example: It was five degrees above zero.

Not: It was five degrees over zero.

  • Both mean “more than something”:

Example: This cartoon is for kids above/over 14 years old.

  • With numbers we usually use over NOT above:

Example: I have got over thirty calls from that company.

NOT: I have got above thirty calls from that company.

  • Above also means higher in rank or position:

Example: Speak to the officer above, please!

NOT: Speak to the officer over, please!

  • We use above to refer to something mentioned earlier:

Example: The image above showed us all about this project.

NOT: The image over showed us all about this project.

  • We use over (and not above) to cover something:

Example: Put that scarf over your neck, it is very cold outside.

NOT: Put that scarf above your neck, it is very cold outside.

  • We use over when we talk about something placed on the other side:

Example: The car over there is mine.

  • We use over for periods of time or during something:

Examples: I’ll discuss with our son over dinner.

When I was a kid, I was playing video games for over three hours a day.

NOT: above dinner, above three hours.

  • We use over when something ended

Example: My exams are over now.

Remember:

  1. We don’t use over with the meaning of a ‘higher level’.

Example:

  • Correct: 200 metres above sea level
  • Wrong: 200 metres over sea level
  1. We don’t use above when one thing covers another, we use over.
  • Correct: over the neck
  • Wrong: above the neck
  1. We don’t use above with numbers:
  • Correct: over 150 people
  • Wrong: above 150 people
  1.  Above indicates location, while over indicates both location and movement.
  • Correct: above the city
  • Wrong: over the city
  • Correct: a bird flew over the lake
  • Wrong: a bird flew above the lake