• The helicopter hovered above us.
  • The helicopter hovered over us.

To hover is a different word it means you are not moving, and deliberately staying in one place. If you were in a helicopter and not moving, you could say you were flying above somewhere, or hovering over somewhere. If you were in an aeroplane, you could say you were flying over somewhere (passing by), flying above somewhere (your location at this moment), but you would not be hovering.

What is your idea about this argument? one of my friend has explained my original question which is at the top of this page.

Is it is correct, would you explain it kindly with some example to clarify it?

Thanks in advance

  • 1
    I agree; this is one of those cases where two prepositions can be used interchangably without any significant change in meaning, and that would be true for just about any object in the sky, irrespective of the verb. The birds circled above/over us. The balloons soared over/above us. The jets zoomed above/over us. In all three cases, use either preposition you'd like. As for the verb choice, what you say is usually true – unless the pilot is in a Harrier, in which case the jet can hover.
    – J.R.
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 11:09

1 Answer 1


Both sentences are legitimate and sound normal to me.

The discussion about moving v. hovering also sounds correct to me. An airplane (aeroplane is an outdated spelling) can be moving over or above you. Usually the word flying would be used though (it is flying over us). However, a helicopter could be flying overhead (in motion) or hovering overhead (stationary).

  • 1
    I don't agree that aeroplane is outdated; it's more that airplane is distinctly American. Aircraft would be more usual elsewhere (and covers more than fixed-wing).
    – toandfro
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 19:30

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