On vs Over

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What’s the difference between them?

On

Meaning:

on is a preposition meaning 'in the physical position of being supported by or resting upon,' 'at a point in time,' 'in a state or condition of,' or 'in the process or act of.'

Examples:

1. I need to turn on the lights.

2. He was on the phone for over an hour.

3. She was on her way to the store.

Over

Meaning:

Over can mean 'above', 'higher than', 'finished', 'across', or 'more than'.

Examples:

1. Over the years, I have learned many valuable lessons.

2. The bridge was constructed over the river.

3. We had over a dozen guests at the party.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference

Synonyms

Antonyms

On

1. Above

2. Over

3. Upon

4. Atop

5. In the vicinity of

1. Off

2. Away

3. Below

4. Against

5. Stop

Over

1. Above

2. Exceeding

3. More than

4. Prevalent

1. Under

2. Below

3. Submissive

4. Deficient

5. Inferior

Tricks for mastery

Useful tips to understand the difference between confusing words "On", "Over".

1. On is used to describe physical position or location. It can also be used to express a state or condition.

2. Over is used to describe movement from one position and time to another. It can also be used to express a position that is higher than another.

3. Think of the phrase 'on the dot' when trying to remember that 'on' is used to express a state or condition.

4. When trying to decide between 'on' and 'over', consider the context in which the words are used. If the words describe movement, then 'over' is the correct choice. If the words describe a physical position or state, then 'on' is the correct choice.

Check the full list of commonly confused words in English

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Frequently asked questions

When should 'on' be used?

On should be used when referring to physical position, a point in time, a state or condition, or a process or act.

When is the appropriate context for using 'over'?

Over should be used when referring to something being above, higher than, finished, across, or more than something else.

Do 'on' and 'over' share the same pronunciation?

No, the pronunciations of 'on' and 'over' differ.

What are some common mistakes people make when using these words?

A common mistake people make with 'on' and 'over' is using them interchangeably - they have different meanings and should be used accordingly. Additionally, some people may confuse the pronunciation of the two words.

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The plane flew ____ the clouds.

2. She thought ____ the situation for a few moments before deciding what to do.

3. He placed the painting ____ the mantle.

4.The plane flew __________ the mountains, offering breathtaking views of the landscape.

5. We drove ____ the river to get to the other side.

6. The total cost was ____ $100.

1. The plane flew over the clouds.

Explanation: The word over suggests a movement or action which is higher or beyond something, which in this sentence is the clouds.

2. She thought on the situation for a few moments before deciding what to do.

Explanation: The phrase think on means to consider something carefully, which is what the sentence is referring to.

3. He placed the painting over the mantle.

Explanation: The word over implies a placement of the painting above the mantle, which is what the sentence is referring to.

4.The plane flew over the mountains, offering breathtaking views of the landscape.

Explanation: In this context, over is used to indicate the planes position in relation to the mountains, implying that it was above and across them.

5. We drove over the river to get to the other side.

Explanation: The word over suggests a movement or action which is traversing the river, which is what the sentence is referring to.

6. The total cost was over $100.

Explanation: The word over implies a total cost greater than the specified $100.

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Finding your way around the English language can be hard, especially since there are so many confusing words and rules. So, a list of the most confusing words in English is an extremely useful tool for improving language accuracy and sharing the ideas clearly.