Difference Between Above and Over

‘Above’ and ‘over’ are used as both prepositions and adverbs to define the position of any object or person. In addition to it, these are used to depict measurements.

‘Above’ is the term used to present something that is on the higher level than the other whereas ‘over’ is used to denote something that is extending directly upwards to the other.

While ‘above’ is used to describe the location of any person/object, ‘over’ can be used to describe both location and motion of any object/person.

Above vs Over

The main difference between above and over is that ‘above’ is used to denote something that is on the higher level or layer whereas ‘over’ is used to denote something that is out rightly upwards to one’s direction.

Above vs Over

Some of the examples to explain the terms better in the context of location and space are as follows:

  1. The gym is situated above this flat.
  2. The books are kept above the cupboard
  3. I m free today, you can come over my place.
  4. Mary wants to travel all over the world.


Comparison Table Between Above and Over (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonAboveOver
Definition‘Above’ is the term that is used to define the position of any object or person at a higher level or layer.‘Over’ denotes something that is directly upwards the person or object.
DepictsThe term represents just the location of any object/person. It doesn’t determine the space.‘Over’ is used to represent both location and space of any object/person.
Usage‘Above’ is not used with numbers.‘Over’ can be used with the numbers.
SynonymsSome of the words that can replace the word ‘above’ are- overhead, high up, up above, aloft, etc.Word replacements for the term ‘over’ can be- on top of, atop, higher than, etc.
ExamplesThe following examples can help to understand the term better.

· We live in the flat above the salon.
·  The kite was flying above the tallest trees.
·  You can find the book above the shelf.
· He scored above average.
The examples to explain the term ‘over’ are as follows:
· What were you doing over there?
· Jane has now become famous all over the world.
· Over time, things will eventually get better.


When to Use Above?

‘Above’ is the term that can be used variably as both a preposition and an adverb to define the position of any place or object. The same word is also often used to depict measurements.

To understand the proper usage of the term one should be clear with the concept ‘above’ is used majorly to represent something that is at a higher level/layer than the other.

The word means and is used differently as a preposition and an adverb. This is depicted as follows:

  1. Preposition: in the extending space and not touching. Example- The restaurant is located above the ice cream parlor.
  2. Adverb:  at a higher level or layer than something. Example- You can find the dress above the pair of jeans.

The term indicates only the location of the place and is not used with numbers. It is used to denote something overhead but not at the perpendicular position to the object.

Therefore, when something is not directly upwards to the object or person we use ‘above’.


When to Use Over?

‘Over’ is the term used to represent something that is extending directly upwards or in the perpendicular direction to the object or the person. It can be used as both the preposition and the adverb in different ways.

To understand the term one should know that ‘over’ is largely used only when one thing covers the other extending in the upward direction or perpendicular to the other.

‘Over’ is also used to denote the motion of something/someone at a higher position from one place to another.

The differentiated usage of the term is depicted as follows:

Preposition: extending directly upwards. Example: The plane was directly over my head.

Adverb:  to represent the passage or trajectory. Example: The horse jumped over the fence.

In addition to the aforementioned meanings, the term ‘over’ is also used to depict the completion of any action or event. Example- The match got over by 6:00 pm.

Some of the synonyms to understand the term better are: on the top of, higher than, atop, etc. Therefore, when something is present directly upwards or perpendicularly we use ‘over’

above 1

Main Differences Between Above and Over

  1. ‘Above’ is the term used to represent the location of something/someone that is present at the higher level or layer but that do not touch the object or the person whereas ‘Over’ is used to represent the position or motion of something that is placed directly upwards or extends in the perpendicular direction.
  2. ‘Above’ represents the location only whereas ‘over’ represents both location and the movement.
  3. While representing numbers, ‘above’ is usually not taken into the account but ‘over’ is used for the same.
  4. The presence of space is a must while we talk about the term ‘above’ whereas ‘over’ is used where there may or may not be the presence of space.
  5. Some of the word replacements for ‘above’ are- overhead, high up, aloft, etc whereas some of the similar words for ‘over’ are- atop, higher than, etc.
Difference Between Above and Over



‘Above’ and ‘over’ are two terms that are often used interchangeably as prepositions and adverbs but there is a wide range of differences between their usages.

The term ‘above’ is used to depict the position of something that is at the higher level or layer whereas ‘over’ is used to depict something that position or movement of something present directly upwards or perpendicularly to the given position. 

While using ‘above’ just the location of a person or the object is determined whereas ‘over’ determines both location and movement of anything present.

In addition to it, ‘above’ is not used when we talk of numbers whereas ‘over’ is used for the same. ‘Over’ is also used to depict the completion of any task or any event.

Therefore, to remember the difference between the two terms, the important point is that while using the term ‘above’ the things are present at the higher level but do not touch whereas ‘over’ represents something present directly upwards.


  1. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/above
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/over
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