English Grammar Lesson: Above Vs. Over

Michael Uncategorized 5 Comments

The fireworks above the city are beautiful

The fireworks above the city are beautiful

The prepositions above and over both describe the position of something in a higher position than another thing. However, we use these two words differently. Today, I’m going to show you how to use these words.

We use both above and over to mean “higher” or “higher than ~,” like this:

  • The sun is above the garden in the afternoon.
  • The sun over the garden in the afternoon.
  • The picture is above the fireplace.
  • The picture is over the fireplace.

We usually use over when on thing is touching or covering another thing:

  • I put a blanket over the dog.
  • I usually wear a sweater over my shirt.
  • They put a cover over the pool in the winter.

We prefer to use above when one thing is not touching another thing:

  • The clouds above us look like flowers.
  • The fireworks above the river look so beautiful.
  • The hawk was circling above its prey.

We use over to show that movement, when something crosses another thing:

  • The plane flew over the school several times.
  • He walked over the broken glass and hurt his foot.
  • The trains go over the roadway.

We use over when we talk about age, amounts, and speed:

  • You can’t buy beer unless you are over 18 year old.
  • The police will stop you if you drive over 65MPH.
  • Over 500 people were waiting for the store to open on Black Friday.

We use above when we talk about height, rank, & temperature, in other words, things that are measured vertically:

  • Mount Fuji in Japan is 3,776 meters above sea level.
  • A general is above a captain in the military.
  • When the temperature reaches 28°C above zero the machine turns off automatically.

We use above in documents and books when referring to something that came before:

  • If you agree to the above policy, please sign your name here.
  • For the reasons stated above, I think learning English is interesting.
  • Please do not write above this line.

Now it’s your turn. How about trying to write an original sentence using some of the above patterns. Use the comment box below!

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Thanks for studying today!