“Over” vs “More Than”: How to Use Both Correctly as a Writer

Over and more than can be used interchangeably.

Their meanings may not be the same, but they can still be used to replace each other.

The main difference is that one makes the work have a formal tone, while the other makes it sound conversational.

Do you know which of them we just described above?

Can you take a wild guess?

We’ve got this covered. More than sounds formal, while over sounds conversational.

Learn their main differences below.

Over vs more than

In certain cases, using over instead of more than makes more sense, but you shouldn’t be too concerned about which appears to be the best choice.

To help you understand when to use over vs more than, and vice versa, let’s look at each term in greater detail, along with examples.

See also: When to Use ‘Its’ and ‘It’s’: Cracking the Code

When to use More than vs Over

The phrase “over” has various meanings and can be used as an adjective, adverb, or preposition.

For this article, we will discuss the use of over as a prepositional phrase.

In this form, it refers to something above or on top of something else. In addition, it means “in excess of” or “more than in degree, quantity, or extent.”

The phrase “over” can mean “above” or “above a specified limit,” in addition to its literal meaning when used in place of “more than.” The line “I counted over eight rabbits near our garden.”

For example, is figurative and indicates that you observed more than eight rabbits.

When the overall tone is conversational or even speculative rather than factual, it is typical to use over instead of more than.

When to Use More Than

The preposition more means “in comparison with,” and the adjective than means “a greater or additional amount.” Now, combine them to make the phrase more than.

When combined, they mean “a higher sum in comparison to something else.” In most cases, it appears before a quantity or number.

As an adverbial phrase, more than modifies a noun like people, money, fluids, goods, and just about anything that can be measured.

For example, in the sentence, “it was not ideal to earn more than #50,000 from the business.” This is a correct use of more than as an adverb because it modifies the maximum amount of money that can be earned.

When writing in a formal tone, such as in academic, scientific, or professional settings, it is necessary to use more than rather than over.

Examples Over versus more than instances

Examples of using ‘over’ in a sentence

  • With only one tank of gas, the vehicle can travel over 200 miles.
  • Martin sold over three million copies of his debut book.
  • They decided to spend over a month in Dubai.
  • Clare’s family watch is over seventy years old.
  • The old lady has owned the stray dog for over half a year.
  • Henry makes over $150,000 at his new job.
  • I’ve counted over 20 crows in this park.
  • Is it possible to get over 50 points on this project?
  • It costs over $10 to get into the fair.
  • We’ve been together for over six years now.

Tip: Over is a preposition. It describes an object’s position as above or on top of something. This literal meaning is changed when it replaces more than, then it can mean above an upper limit.

Examples of  “more than” in use in a sentence

  • The team will need to pay more than $500 to modify their flight date.
  • I own more than 20 different pairs of running shoes.
  • In the class election, more than 80% of the students voted.
  • They had accumulated more than enough money for a relaxing trip.
  • Henry makes more than $150,000 at his new job.
  • It costs more than $10 to get into the fair.

Tip: More than can describe quantities of anything. It modifies nouns, like money, liquid, people, objects, or anything else that can be measured.

The only difference in the examples above is that one has a more formal tone while the other doesn’t. More than is best for formal writing or professional work, while over is a better conversational word.  

See also: When to Use ‘Whomever’: Navigating the Maze

More than vs Over FAQs

When to use over

The preposition over is most commonly used to suggest that something is “in excess of” something, or that something is above or on top of something. When used figuratively, it works best in sentences that are conversational in tone.

How and when should one use more than?

The phrase more than is formed by combining the preposition than and the adjective more. It denotes “an additional amount or quantity compared with something else.”

Are more than vs over interchangeable?

The AP Stylebook’s grammar experts concluded in 2014 that the phrases over and more than are interchangeable and a matter of preference.

Related Post: When to Use ‘Me’ or ‘I’: Easy Tips for Correct Usage for Writers


We hope you can now differentiate when to use more than over over. Smiles! Now, that’s what I’m talking about.

Happy reading!


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