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.


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‘Above’ is the term used to present something on a higher level than the other, whereas ‘over’ denotes something that extends 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.

Key Takeaways

  1. ‘Above’ is primarily used to describe a higher position in a vertical context, while ‘over’ can indicate vertical and horizontal relationships.
  2. ‘Above’ is more suitable when describing elevation without contact, whereas ‘over’ can be used when objects touch or overlap.
  3. ‘Over’ can also denote control or authority, while ‘above’ doesn’t carry this connotation.

Above vs Over

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

Above vs Over

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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 to my place.
  4. Mary wants to travel all over the world.


Comparison Table

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 directly upward of the person or object.
DepictsThe term represents just the location of any object/person. It doesn’t determine the space.‘Over’ represents the location and space of any object/person.
Usage‘Above’ is not used with numbers.‘Over’ can be used with the numbers.
SynonymsSome 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 a 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 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 parlour.
  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 place’s location and is not used with numbers. It is used to denote something overhead but not perpendicular to the object.

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


When to Use Over?

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

To understand the term, one should know that ‘over’ is primarily 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 now over my head.

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

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

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 a higher level or layer but that does 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 considered, but ‘over’ is used for the same.
  4. The presence of space is a must when we talk about the term ‘above’ whereas ‘over’ is used where there may or may not be the presence of freedom.
  5. Some word replacements for ‘above’ are- overhead, high up, aloft, etc., whereas some similar words for ‘over’ are- atop, higher than, etc.
Difference Between Above and Over
  1. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/above
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/over
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