Above vs. Over

Above indicates a position higher than something.

  • The birds flew up above the trees.
  • The sun rose above the horizon.
  • There is a mirror above the washbasin.
  • We have rented a room above the shop.
  • She is above average in intelligence.
  • Your name comes above mine on the list.

Above and Over

Above and over can both mean higher than.

  • The helicopter hovered above/over the building.
  • The water came up above/over our knees.

Above is preferred when we want to mean that one thing is not directly over another.

  • There is a small cottage above the lake. (The cottage is not directly over the lake.)

Above is also used in measurements of temperature, height, intelligence etc., where we think of a vertical scale.

  • The temperature never rose above 10 degree Celsius.

Over is preferred when one thing covers and/or touches another.

  • He put on a coat over his shirt.
  • There was cloud over the city.

Over is also used to talk about ages and speeds, and to mean more than.

  • You have to be over 18 to see that film.
  • There were over 50 fifty people at the meeting.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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