Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Over + verb

When we use "over" + a verb/ noun/ participle, the resulting adjective or verb describes a situation of being "too much" or "excessive". Likewise when we use "under" + any part of speech, we are talking about, "not enough", "insufficient" or "too little".

1. If someone is “overworked and underpaid”, they earn peanuts (very little money) for the amount of work they do. Do you feel that way about your job?

2. There are many obvious consequences to oversleeping… Such as: being late for work, missing an appointment or arriving late to English class.

3. Some people (including myself) like to complicate things and overthink them. Sometimes the solution is a lot simpler than we think... or life is not as complicated as we make it out to be.

4. Do you feel that you are underappreciated at work or in your family? Do people take you for granted?

5. Do you think the World Cup soccer tickets were overpriced… or do you think there was a price to pay to attend football's greatest spectacle? What services do you think people overcharge for?

6. If you want to emphasize that someone is really exaggerating, you can say they are over exaggerating. Do you know anybody like that?

7. Some people overestimate their abilities. Others underestimate them. How about you?

8. If someone "overstays their welcome", they may either be staying too long (as guests)... or they may have offended their hosts.

9. Once in a while you will hear of somebody not being "right" for a job, because they are "overqualified". I don't know what to think about that… It may just be an excuse to not hire somebody.

10. If something is overwhelming, it is too difficult to handle, especially emotionally. A loss in the finals of the World Cup soccer must have been overwhelming for the Argentinian players. 


  1. Is there any differences between over, on, and about when referring to a subject of something, I meam, discussing over/on/about something?

  2. When you discuss something... you discuss it. That is to say, there is no preposition. So that makes the decision easier, haha!
    On the other hand... you can argue about something... or if it was a dispute for the rights of something you would argue "over" something. You would talk about something, ponder on, think about, mull over, meditate on, brood over, talk about... etc, etc.

    It depends on the verb... and in each case, the preposition is always predictable... so always learn verbs with their prepositions. Better still... learn phrases - and then everything will already be in place. DON'T try to learn categories of prepositions... it's too frustrating and not very productive. Language uses prepositions... prepositions don't use language ;-)

  3. Very good article as always. Your last phrase comparing language and prepositions is awesome "Language uses prepositions...prepositions don't use language"
    Thanks very much for the tips.

    1. Thanks for the comment ;-)
      I feel like some sort of guru now, haha!

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