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  • Hi. I'm Adam.

  • Welcome to www.engvid.com.

  • In today's video we're going to look at the difference between the prepositions:

  • "over", "above", "on", and "on top of".

  • Now, in many cases you will find or you will hear native English speakers mixing these up.

  • They're... In some cases they're interchangeable.

  • If you use "over" or "above" or "on", everybody will understand you, the idea will be clear,

  • the image of the situation will be clear, but there are certain situations where you

  • must use one or the other.

  • So, we're going to look at all of these and I'm going to give you the specifics, and then

  • I'm going to give you some more sample sentences to see where they can be interchangeable and

  • where they can't.

  • Okay?

  • So: "over", when do we use "over"?

  • So, first of all, all of these prepositions talk about a higher position.

  • When we use "over" we're generally speaking about the movement of something higher.

  • Right?

  • So: "The clouds moved over the city."

  • What does this mean?

  • It doesn't mean that the clouds came and then just stayed there.

  • No.

  • "Over" means they came and they passed, and they kept going. Right?

  • So we always have that idea of movement when we're talking about "over".

  • The sheep jumped over the fence.

  • They didn't jump above the fence, because then they would just be stuck there.

  • There's the fence, there's above, the sheep is in the middle of the air.

  • Sounds a little bit strange.

  • So they jumped over the fence, with movement.

  • We use "over" with numbers.

  • Basically, it means more than, but we use it specifically with numbers.

  • I think you got my message there.

  • I'm going to have dirty fingers later, but that's okay.

  • There's soap.

  • More than.

  • "Over 100 people came to the party."

  • Means more than 100 people came to the party.

  • So, sometimes you'll see something like this: "100+" it just basically means "over", or:

  • "100+ people came".

  • We use this with numbers.

  • "Cover".

  • "To cover something" means to put something on top of, but it doesn't necessarily have

  • to be one on top of the other.

  • It just means to cover, to put some sort of protection on something.

  • So: "Put a hand over your mouth when you cough."

  • [Coughs] That's my pen thing.

  • Okay.

  • Prefix.

  • We also use "over" as a prefix with nouns, adjectives, or verbs sometimes to, again,

  • it's...

  • The idea is more than, but it's also in terms of the verb it means extra, beyond what is

  • normal or beyond what is necessary.

  • So, if someone is "overweight" means they have too much weight.

  • Okay? Obese.

  • Not necessarily obese.

  • Obese is even more overweight than overweight, but again, not thin.

  • To "overestimate", so you have to guess a certain level of something.

  • So I think there will be 100 people at my party, but I overestimated.

  • What does that mean?

  • It means that only 75 people came, so I guessed too far.

  • I reached too far with my guess.

  • "Override" basically means take control of.

  • So if I...

  • If a system, whatever system we're looking at is controlled by a computer, I can override

  • the computer, I can basically put my power over the computer's power-higher than, stronger

  • than-and I can take control of the system.

  • "Overzealous", too much zealous.

  • So, another way to think of it is "too".

  • "Zealous" means like eager, really wanting to do, really have a very focused motivation

  • for something.

  • If you're overzealous, you have too much of this thing, above the normal level.

  • So, now, speaking of the normal level: "above".

  • Two...

  • Two ways to use this.

  • One is, of course, in terms of like physical relationship.

  • Something is higher in relation to something else.

  • But generally it is on the same plane.

  • Now, what does "plane" mean?

  • In terms of space, something is on a same line I guess you could say.

  • Right? If you have a wall, so something is above something on the wall.

  • So, "over" is listed above "above" because they're on a flat plane, on the flat whiteboard,

  • one is higher than the other.

  • Now, if we go back to the clouds: "The clouds lingered above the city."

  • "Lingered" means basically hung around or stayed for a little while.

  • So here came the clouds.

  • Everybody thought the clouds would go over the city, but the clouds came and then they

  • just sort of lingered above the city.

  • Here is the city, here are the clouds.

  • They're on the same plane, on the same general area of space.

  • One is higher than the other.

  • So that's the most common use of "above".

  • We also use "above" when we refer to a higher position than a reference point.

  • Now, what is a "reference point"?

  • Means the point by which we compare everything to or that we relate everything to.

  • So, if we talk about average...

  • Okay?

  • Let's say we're talking about the house prices in the city.

  • The average house price is half a million dollars.

  • Okay?

  • We look at all the houses that have been sold in the last little while, the most, the least,

  • etc., we add them all together, divide by how many houses, and that's your average.

  • So from this average if a house is selling for 700,000, it is above average price, above

  • average cost.

  • If it's selling for 300,000, it's below average.

  • We're going to look at "below" in another lesson.

  • Okay?

  • "Above average", "above freezing".

  • Now, "freezing" basically means zero degrees.

  • So although zero is a number, it's not the same as this number.

  • It's a point, a point on a scale, a temperature scale.

  • Zero is freezing, then plus one, plus two degrees, minus one, minus two degrees.

  • Celsius, of course, I'm talking about.

  • "Above expectations".

  • So, for example, I hire you to work for me.

  • I'm the boss.

  • I have certain expectations.

  • This is where I expect you to work or certain standards.

  • If you work at this level, more than I expected, then you have gone above expectations.

  • Okay? And I'm very happy about that, of course.

  • Lastly, we have "on" or "on top of".

  • "On"...

  • They're basically more the same.

  • "On top of" is on, on something usually.

  • Okay?

  • We talk about in relation to something, so you're always going to have an object, but

  • most commonly you have a surface.

  • Okay?

  • So put the books...

  • "Put the book on the table."

  • Here's a table, put the book on it.

  • Okay?

  • Now, if I have a table and I have some books on it:

  • "Put the books on top of the books on the table."

  • So I'm not going to use "on, on" twice.

  • I'm not going to use "on" twice to relate to something.

  • I'll use "on" for one, I'll use "on top of" for the other.

  • And "on top of" usually has the idea of touching.

  • So something is touching something else, but it's higher than it.

  • "Above" there's space, "on" usually no space or "on top of" there's no space.

  • Okay?

  • So, again, these are the specifics.

  • Now we're going to look at a few sample sentences to see where they're sometimes interchangeable,

  • where you can use one or the other and get the same meaning.

  • Okay, so we're going to...

  • We're going to look at a couple of sentences, or three sentences actually to show you that

  • sometimes they are interchangeable.

  • So, you have a little fireplace where in the winter you have a nice fire,

  • you have a nice painting.

  • "Let's hang the painting over the fireplace.",

  • "Let's hang the painting above the fireplace."

  • In this case both would be acceptable.

  • People use either one interchangeably.

  • The idea is very clear.

  • Now, technically, "over" there's nothing moving, but we use "over" to mean when two things

  • are very related and stationary as well.

  • Do you want to use it?

  • That's up to you.

  • If you don't, "above" is okay.

  • Keep in mind people do use "over" regularly in these situations, and therefore it's acceptable.

  • Okay.

  • "Can you please put a blanket over my legs?"

  • I'm lying down, I'm cold.

  • Can you put a blanket over my legs?

  • Means cover.

  • So we said, like, cover your hand when you cough.

  • Cover my legs.

  • Same idea.

  • Or: "Put them on my legs".

  • So I'm lying down, just put it on top.

  • Okay? Now, I just want to show you another use of "on top of", a very common expression:

  • "On top of all my other problems, I have a new boss to deal with."

  • So now technically there's no thing here.

  • A problem is an abstract noun, it's just an idea.

  • But you can stack things, one on top of the other.

  • So when you have a pile, one goes on top of the other, you can do this with imaginary

  • things as well.

  • Another way to think of this:

  • "In addition to all my other problems, I have another one."

  • But we use this very commonly because it's like my problems are stacking up.

  • Okay? But the same idea, something on top of something else, touching.

  • Touching, making a pile.

  • Okay?

  • So that's basically it.

  • So, more or less...

  • Again, if you sometimes mix them up, don't worry about it.

  • Whoever you're speaking to or writing to will understand you most likely.

  • However, certain situations need the specific preposition that they need based on what we

  • looked at just a while ago.

  • So practice these, get comfortable with them, and use them as you would.

  • So, I hope this was all clear and I hope you enjoyed this lesson.

  • If you did, please subscribe to my YouTube channel if you haven't already.

  • If you have any questions, go to www.engvid.com and join the forum.

  • I will be happy to answer your...

  • All your questions there.

  • There's also a quiz testing your knowledge of "over", "above", "on", "on top of".

  • And, of course, come back again soon, watch our next videos, and enjoy.

  • Bye.

Hi. I'm Adam.

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A2 US average interchangeable fence put basically cover

Prepositions in English: ABOVE, OVER, ON, ON TOP

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    ryan posted on 2017/03/22
Video vocabulary