WordReference Collins English Usage © 2019
above - over
used for talking about position and height
If something is higher than something else, you can say that the first thing is above or over the second thing.
He opened a cupboard above the sink.
There was a mirror over the fireplace.
If one thing is much higher than another thing, or there is a lot of space between them, you usually use above.
We heard a noise in the apartment above ours.
You usually use over when one thing is at a higher level than another thing, and the first thing is moving.
A plane flew over the city.
used for talking about measurements and quantities
Above and over are both used to talk about measurements, for example, when you are talking about a point that is higher than another point on a scale.
Any money earned over that level is taxed.
The temperature rose to just above forty degrees.
Be careful
Don't use above in front of a number when you are talking about a quantity or number of things or people. For example, don't say ‘She had above thirty pairs of shoes’. You say ‘She had over thirty pairs of shoes’ or ‘She had more than thirty pairs of shoes’.
They paid out over 3 million pounds.
He saw more than 800 children, dying of starvation.
used for talking about distance and time
You use over to say that a distance or period of time is longer than the one mentioned.
The mountain is over twelve thousand feet high.
Our relationship lasted for over a year.
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