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General Writing and Grammar Help/ON the horizon - OVER the horizon

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Question
Dear Ted:

Is it "ON the horizon" or "OVER the horizon"?

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

As always, many, many thanks for your kind help.

Paolo

Answer
Dear Paolo:

Is it "ON the horizon" or "OVER the horizon"?

If both are possible, do they mean the same thing?

If not, when should I use each of them?

Would you please give me some examples?

*** Paolo, both prepositional phrases can be used.  My guess is that "ON the horizon" is used much more often.

EXAMPLE:  The shipwrecked sailors could see a rescue ship ON the horizon.

ON the horizon is used, because the rescue ship can be seen.

"OVER the horizon" is somewhat different, because you cannot see something that is essentially out of sight.  The horizon is the extent of our vision.

EXAMPLE:  The shipwrecked sailors hoped that there was a rescue ship somewhere OVER the horizon.  

*** By the way, there is an old song with the words "BEYOND the blue horizon, someone waits for me."  [I may have confused the words.]  So, "beyond" and "over" are synonyms, both expressing distance.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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