What is the difference between above and over? Both over and above mean ‘higher than’ and in many cases are interchangeable:

  • She was sitting and watching the clouds above/over her head go by.
  • There was a beautiful rainbow above/over the horizon.

When to Use “Over” and “Above”

The main difference between them is the context, e.g. over indicates movement, while above refers to a location. We use over, but not above, to imply movement from one location to another:

  • Jane was going over the street.
  • If you want a beer, you should go to the pub over there.

On the other hand, we use above, but not over, to imply the location:

  • The book was on the shelf above the desk.
  • She put her handbag in the locker above her head.

We use over, but nor above, when there is contact between the things:

  • She put a blanket over her to get warmer (not She put a blanket above her to get warmer)
 Difference between "Above" and "Over"
Difference between “Above” and “Over”

We use above, but not over, when something is higher than something else, without touching:

  • The bird was singing above her head. (not The bird was singing over her head)

We usually use over, not above, with numbers:

  • There were over a thousand people at the demonstrations. (not There were above a thousand people at the demonstrations)
  • Over 300 people died in the devastating earthquake (not above 300 people died in the devastating earthquake)

Download a PDF with lesson and exercise:

Do the quiz to perfect your knowledge:

If you really want to learn English but don’t know how to do it and where to start, don’t hesitate to contact us. Book an online English lesson with one of our certified and experienced English teachers and take a test and consultation. Choose the most suitable app: Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Viber or Facebook Messenger. You should certainly join us for 30-minute conversation sessions. We are organizing lessons at a 30% discount. Check it out!

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to drop us a line on WhatsApp

My Lingua Academy

My Lingua Academy is an online school of English language. We give one-on-one lessons to students of English of all ages and all levels of knowledge all around the world. With us you can prepare for written assignments and exams, attend a general or business English course, or have conversation classes with qualified English teachers who have years of experience.


Ferdinando Soares · 8 Nov 2020 at 1:55 pm

Thank you
Useful for me 👍

Ways to Use the Word OVER - My Lingua Academy · 30 Jun 2022 at 1:03 pm

[…] More often than not, English students are not sure whether to use over or above, so you can check out the lesson about the difference between over and above here. […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: