I wonder if I can replace over with on in the sentence below and if the meaning remains the same. If there is any difference, I would like to ask for the explanation of it.

Her parents no longer have any real influence over her.


The two expressions have little to distinguish them but influence over is more likely to be used in a parent-child or similar context and in a person to person situation.

You will come across statements such as: Her adolescent son is running wild and his mother no longer has any influence over him.

Influence on might be used in situations concerning a person, a group, an organisation or a decision.

Given that the two expressions overlap, it really comes down to context and preference.

Google Books Ngram Viewer indicates that influence on is several times more popular than influence over.

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  • Thank you very much for the detailed explanation! :) – Smart Humanism Dec 9 '18 at 5:48
  • May I ask you to let me double-check again the specific example sentence case? Her parents no longer have any real influence over her. Her parents no longer have any real influence on her. The second one is also right and can be used naturally, doesn't it? But I guess from your explanation, in this person to person case, the first one is more used and preferred, but there is nothing wrong with using the second expression instead. – Smart Humanism Dec 9 '18 at 5:56
  • 1
    @SmartHumanism Exactly! – Ronald Sole Dec 9 '18 at 9:41

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