Over Time vs Overtime

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What’s the difference between them?

Over Time


over a span of time.


1. I have learned many skills over time from my job.

2. We have slowly grown our savings over time.

3. His paintings have become more intricate over time.



extra time worked in addition to normal working hours.


1) I stayed late again this week so I was able to get paid for overtime.

2) My boss wants me to stay at least two hours of overtime every Saturday.

3) Working overtime is a great way to make extra money.

Learn similar and opposite words to spot the difference



Over Time

1. Through the years

2. Gradually

3. In the long run

4. With the passage of time

5. Over the course of time

6. As time went by

1. Under Time

2. At Once

3. In an Instant

4. Quickly

5. Immediately


1. Extended Hours

2. Additional Hours

3. Time-and-a-Half

4. Work Beyond Normal Hours

5. Surplus Working Time

1. Time Underbudget

2. Early Departure

3. Regular Hours

4. Below Allotment

5. Work Cessation

Tricks for mastery

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

1. 'Over time' generally refers to the passing of time within a given context.

2. 'Overtime' is a specific concept related to working hours.

3. One way to remember the difference is with the mnemonic phrase 'One-word overtime is extra time spent working for pay.'

Practice English with the Promova app and avoid misusing confusing words

Frequently asked questions

In what situations should the first word be used?

Over time is a phrase that generally means a period of time that has passed, usually in reference to a large amount of time or a lengthy duration. It is often used in reference to the amount of time something takes to develop, evolve, or complete.

When is the appropriate context for using the second word?

Overtime is a phrase that usually refers to working extra hours beyond the normal amount. It is usually used to refer to a worker performing additional hours beyond their normal work schedule for the same job.

Do the two words share the same pronunciation?

Yes, these words have similar pronunciation, so you have pay attention to the context to use the correct word.

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

A common mistake people make when using these words is mixing up their spelling. People also sometimes mistakenly use the two words interchangeably when they should be used in specific contexts. For example, one would not say 'I was working overtime over time.'

Fill in the gaps to check yourself

1. The paint on the fence faded ________ due to the harsh sunlight.

2. If you work past your scheduled hours, you will be paid ________ for those extra hours.

3. She noticed that her understanding of the subject improved gradually ________ with regular study.

4. Many employees in the factory prefer not to work ________ as its exhausting.

5. The metal corroded ________ after being exposed to the elements.

6. The manager announced that there would be no ________ this month due to budget constraints.

1. over time

Explanation: The context refers to a gradual process (faded) happening over a span of time. Thus, over time is appropriate.

2. overtime

Explanation: The sentence refers to extra hours worked beyond the standard work hours, which is the definition of overtime.

3. over time

Explanation: This refers to a gradual improvement over a span or period, making over time the correct choice.

4. overtime

Explanation: The sentence is discussing the additional hours employees work beyond their normal schedule, which is overtime.

5. over time

Explanation: The context here is about a gradual change (corroded) over a certain period, fitting the meaning of over time.

6. overtime

Explanation: This sentence talks about the additional hours and their pay, pointing towards the term overtime.

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List of Commonly Confused Words

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.