When to Use More Than or Over

Instructor: Beth Hendricks

Beth holds a master's degree in integrated marketing communications, and has worked in journalism and marketing throughout her career.

There are times when one word is a better choice than another in a sentence. In this lesson, you will learn about the proper way to use the terms 'more than' and 'over' in your speaking and writing.

50 Dollars

Pretend that you and your friend Bill are visiting the movie theater to check out the latest action movie. You arrive at the concessions stand to purchase popcorn and a drink and realize you spent your last $10 on the movie ticket. Bill says not to worry. He has more than $50 in his wallet and is happy to pay for your food when he buys his.

Why did Bill say that? Why didn't he say he had over $50 in his wallet? Let's check out the difference in this lesson.

More Than

The best time to use more than in speaking or in writing is when you're talking about a number that can be counted. As a general rule, use 'more than' before the use of a number. Here are some great examples of using 'more than' properly in a sentence:

  • Betsy has more than six cupcakes.

Use the term ~

  • Tom has more than a dozen pieces of paper in his hand.
  • Sally earned more than $100 mowing her neighbor's yard.

Similarly, you could use the term 'less than' in the same way. For example:

  • Rebecca has less than $10 in her wallet.
  • Austin has less than 30 minutes to eat lunch.
  • James has less than six days until his vacation.


Using the term over in speaking or a sentence is best when you're discussing where two objects are in relation to each other. Here are some great examples of using 'over' in a sentence:

  • The cow jumped over the moon.
  • Lydia pulled the shirt over her head.
  • The television is over the fireplace.

This rule also works well for the use of the word 'under.' For example:

  • Lisa sat under the tree.
  • She held her hands under the table.

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