Hoshino looked up rental car agencies in the Yellow Pages, picked one at random, and phoned them. "I just need a car for a couple of days," he explained, "so an ordinary sedan's fine. Nothing too big, nothing that stands out."

"Maybe I shouldn't say this," the rental clerk said, "but since we only rent Mazdas, we don't have a single car that stands out. So rest assured."

"Great." "How about a Familia? A very reliable car, and I swear nobody will notice it at all."

"Sounds good. The Familia it is." The rental agency was near the station, and Hoshino told them he'd be over (1) in an hour to pick up the car.

He took a taxi over (2), showed them his credit card and license, then rented the car for two days. The white Familia parked in the lot was, as advertised, totally unobtrusive. Turn away from it for a moment and every memory of what it looked like vanished. A notable achievement in the field of anonymity. (Kafka on the Shore, tr. by Philip Gabriel)

-- Kafka on the Shore, by Haruki Murakami, tr. by Philip Gabriel

What does the 'over's mean respectively?
(It seems like (1) means ‘over there’; (2) is a particle of ‘took over’)

  • 1
    It doesn't look like over in (2) is a particle. You can't say he took over a taxi. (Well, actually you can, but it doesn't mean the same thing.)
    – user230
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 2:10
  • @snailboat, so (2) means: He took a taxi over to a rental car agency, doesn't it?
    – Listenever
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 2:48
  • Yep! That's right :-)
    – user230
    Commented Sep 18, 2013 at 3:11

2 Answers 2


Over (1) is used in the sense of moving from one place to another. Example: "Do you want to come to my house?" "Sure, I'll be over in an hour." It can be thought of as "over there" (or "over here", if appropriate).

Over (2) is used in the same sense as Over (1), and means "he took a taxi over (there)", ie he used a taxi as a means of getting to the car rental agency.

But "to take over" can also mean "to assume control of". Example: "The military took over the town and set up defences".

Note "To take over" can sometimes be confused with "to overtake", which means "to pass". Examples: 1. A fast car on a motorway can overtake a slower car by changing to the outside lane. 2. Scoring 2 under par on the final round, Rose overtook Woods on the leader board.


(1) "... be over" means "... would arrive". (2) "... over" means "... to the (destination previously mentioned)"

  • Interesting that someone would mark this down without leaving any feedback. Yes it's a simple answer, and corresponds with the accepted answer. If someone can "correct" me (a native speaker) I will be... intrigued. I can only assume whoever marked me down is a troll.
    – Tim
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 3:25

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