English as a Second Language/over

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QUESTION: Hello again, Amy.

http://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/over

Over can be used in the following ways:

as a preposition (followed by a noun or a pronoun): a bridge over the river

Two men were fighting over her. (followed by a number or amount): It happened over a hundred years ago.

as an adverb (without a following noun):

He fell over and broke his arm.
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I am a little bit confused with the difference of adverb and preposition in respect of 'over'.

I would be obliged if you could give me some more examples showing adverb and preposition of 'over'.

Thanks.

ANSWER: Hello CH,

good to hear from you again.

Here are a couple of examples I hope you'll find helpful.

Over as a preposition:

Renting a car will cost over $100 a day.
Iíd rather not tell you about my plan over the phone.
He finished his homework over the weekend.
The kite is gliding over the river.
I rode my bike over the hill.
He walked over from the gas station.

Over as an adverb:

Do you have any money left over from your trip overseas?
Iíll come see you when the football season is over.
My daughter was upset about breaking up with her boyfriend, but I think she finally got over him.
I messed up my project, I think Iím going to have to do it over.
I can't wait to get this project over with.
Mike asked for a few minutes to think this over.
The police asked the thief to hand over his gun.
I had a flat tire, so I had to pull over.
Mary visited her best friend and they invited her to sleep over.
The raccoon was run over by a bus.


Best regards,



---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hello Amy

Thanks for your prompt reply.

According to macmillan dictionary: Over can be used as (1) a preposition (followed by a noun or a pronoun)(2)as an adverb (without a following noun).

I fully understand the use of 'over' as a preposition according to your excellent examples.

I also fully understand the use of 'over' as an adverb according to your excellent examples except the following sentences:

1. My daughter was upset about breaking up with her boyfriend, but I think she finally got over him.

2. The police asked the thief to hand over his gun.

3. The raccoon was run over by a bus.

My questions are as follows:-

1. What does "Over can be used as an adverb (without a following noun)" mean? When we use "over" as an adverb, can "over" be followed by a pronoun? For instance,...she finally got over him.

2. Does "his gun" not equal to "a following noun"?

Best Regards,
CH

Answer
CH,

it is indeed tricky at times to tell apart prepositions from adverbs, but there are rules that should help you figure out which is which.

You probably know this already: a preposition takes an object, while an adverb does not. If there is a noun following the term, it usually indicates the term is a preposition, not an adverb, but not always.

For ex, it may appear that the word has an object (or it's followed by a noun/pronoun), so you may be tempted to say that you are dealing with a preposition. In reality the word is actually functioning as an adverb. This is usually the case with phrasal verbs where the adverb is defining or describing the verb, not the object.

In all the examples below you are dealing with phrasal verbs: get over; hand over; run over and in every one of these sentences, over is actually describing the verb, not the object.

My daughter was upset about breaking up with her boyfriend, but I think she finally got over him. (over describes the verb to get, not the pronoun him, ergo it's an adverb)

The police asked the thief to hand over his gun. (over describes the verb to hand, so again it's an adverb)

The raccoon was run over by a bus. (over described the verb to run thus it's an adverb).

I hope this clarifies things for you.  

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Amy Baker

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I can answer question about grammar, spelling, syntax, idioms, reading and/or writing that pertain to English as a Second Language. I am knowledgeable about both TOEFL and IELTS.

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I'm a certified ESL teacher with 12 years of experience teaching K-12 and adults.

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