Some of the websites say there are not so much differences between "more than " and "over" but the others say it's better to use "more than" when it comes with numerous expressions. Is that common for native speakers of English?

For example

This movie has been loved more than ten years.

Can I use "over" instead of "more than"?

The website http://www.onlinegrammar.com.au/more-than-and-over/

  • What websites do you mean? There are millions of them! What differences are you confused about? Without examples to illustrate your question, it's not possible for us to help you. Please use the edit key to provide a specific sentence in which you do not understand the usage of more than and over. If you don't do that, your question, unfortunately, may be closed. We hope you will take a few minutes to review our tour and Help Center pages. They will help you to write a useful question. Oct 17, 2016 at 4:49
  • How expressions are actually used trumps prescriptive rules, and how things sound (though subjectivity obviously enters here) informs usage. The original, 'This movie has been loved more than ten years', sounds at best clumsy (and crying out for additional information, eg 'This movie has been in Favfilmz' 'fifty favourite films' charts for more than ten years') to my ears, so to my mind we haven't got a reasonable benchmark. But with a less problematic example, 'She earns over/more than $80 000 a year' are definitely both grammatical and (highly) idiomatic. Mar 1, 2021 at 11:24
  • Note also that preposition deletion with temporal prepositional phrases (for [more than ten years] in your example) may itself lead to awkward-sounding or perhaps even ambiguous strings. These should obviously be avoided, and 'over' is far more polysemous than 'more than'. Individual cases should be considered on merit. While 'over' should not be discounted as an alternative for 'more than' per se, this does not mean that the two lexemes 'over' and 'more than' are totally interchangeable. Mar 1, 2021 at 11:32

1 Answer 1


According to the AP Stylebook, “more than” and “over” can now be used interchangeably to indicate greater numerical value, and “less than” and “under” can be used interchangeably to indicate lesser numerical value. Prior to the rule change, the only acceptable use of “over” was as a locative, a preposition designating the physical placement of one thing relative to another. (Source.)

Choosing between more than and over with respect to numerical values seems to be a matter of style now, not grammar. If we check the Cambridge Dictionary, we get

over preposition (MORE THAN)
more than:
Most of these rugs cost over $1000.
Children over 12 (= older than 12) pay full price.

So for example, Most of these rugs cost over $1000 is equivalent in meaning to Most of these rugs cost more than $1000.

You will often see and hear people using over in this way, at least in the US. Either option is acceptable.

  • 1
    I wouldn't make too much of that "rule change" - it doesn't mean people did things any different before the American Copy Editors Society finally caved in and acknowledged that “overwhelming usage” in both professional and non-professional contexts required them to get rid of a fatuous rule that hardly anyone knew or observed in the first place. Oct 17, 2016 at 12:32
  • I'd add the caveat in my second 'comment' above. 'He developed his business over ten years' is suspect. Mar 1, 2021 at 11:39

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