'Over' is a widely-used word in the English language that functions as a preposition, adverb, and prefix.

How to use "Over" in English Grammar

'Over' is a widely-used word in the English language, the reason why we are going to learn it in details in this lesson.

Functions of 'Over'

1. 'Over' as a Preposition


'Over' as the preposition is used before nouns or noun phrases and can be used in many contexts.

  • From, to, or at a place that is higher than something else. It is synonymous with 'above.'

The sun is over mountains.

The balcony looks out over the city.

  • In a position higher than but not touching someone or something. It is synonymous with 'on top of'.

The lamp is over her.

Over the shelves, you can find that.

  • Be on the surface of something and partly or completely cover it.

A blanket over her

An overcoat over his suit

  • Falling from or down from a place.

The tree fell over the street.

She knocked over the lamp.

  • On the far or opposite side of something.

He lived over the road.

Over the street, there is a shop.

  • More than a number, amount, time, etc.

Over 30 million dollars...

Over sixty minutes...

  • Someone has an authority, is higher in rank than someone else.

She is the director over her.

She governs over an empire.

  • Expressing preference. It is synonymous with 'rather than'.

I’d choose this one over that one

She prefers the book over the mug.

It has several advantages over the old one.

  • During a time

Over lunch, I'll talk about it.

We can go out over the week.

  • Undergo a particular difficult stage or situation

I will get over this illness.

We're over the worst part of it now.

  • Because of

Don't get angry over that.

We laughed over the incident.

  • Of or relating to something, on the subject of something.

argument over money

discussion over marriage

  • By means of something, expressing the medium.

She will hear it over radio.

Tell me over the phone.

  • Without including or considering something.

Skip over a part.

I'll pass over the paragraph.

  • More loudly and clearly than.

Shout over the noise of cars.

They heard the coach over the noise of the stadium.

Position in a Sentence

'Over' as the preposition precedes a noun or a pronoun and adds more meaning to it. Note that the noun can take other determiners or articles. For example:

Skip over a part.

Don't get angry over that.

2. 'Over' as an Adverb


'Over' as an adverb modifies the verb and adds extra meaning to it. 'Over' is used in different situations as the adverb. Take a look:

  • In an upward and forward direction across something.

Throw the ball over.

'Over' describes the verb 'to throw.'

That's a wall that I want to climb over.

  • In or to the place indicated.

I'm over here.

  • Beyond and falling or hanging from a point.

He tripped and fell over.

She knocked the jug over.

  • Downward from an upright position.

He leans over and kisses him.

The mom is bending over.

  • 'Over' means something is finished.

The match is over.

I wish this would be over now.

  • The opposite side is on top.

Flip your cards over.

He rolled over on his stomach.

  • From one place to another.

Come over here.

London is where I will fly over.

  • To your home

Invite someone over for a dinner.

You should know how to ask someone over.

  • More than an amount or number that was expected or stated

That took one minute over.

You can have a party of 20 and over in this house.

  • Remaining and not used.

Something was left over.

Some food is going to be left over in the fridge.

  • During or throughout a period of time

Can I sleep over?

I need to stay over this afternoon.

  • To cover the entire surface of something

The sky had clouded over.

The house window was boarded over.

  • In a complete and thorough way

Think it over.

I will discuss it over.

  • One more time

Do it over, that was wrong.

Start it over.

  • 'Over' is used when talking on a radio to show that a message is complete.

''We are ready for that. Over.''

Position in a Sentence

'Over' as the adverb is used to modify the verb so it comes after the verb. Note that any nouns should not come after the adverb. For example:

Do it over, that was wrong.

Can I sleep over?

3. 'Over' as a Prefix


'Over' as a prefix is added to the beginning of a word (nouns, adjectives, verbs, etc.) to change their meaning and use. Here, 'over' can be a prefix and have a similar meaning to 'more, beyond.'

Overheated engine



Position in a Sentence

'Over' as the prefix is added to a word to change its meaning and sometimes its part of speech. Look:

heated → Overheated

Here, the POS stays the same but the meaning has changed.

Simplify → Oversimplify


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