I am wondering whether in the following sentences the usage of "over" is optional or it makes the sentences sound more natural or colloquial or something!

Example 1): (Food)

A) The last night dinner was great. I'm so hungry. Is there something left (over) from dinner to eat?

B) Uh, no! There is nothing left (over).

Example 2): (Money)

A) Did you buy all the items within the list I had provided you with David?

B) Yes

A) I gave you 300 dollars. How much money has been left (over)?

B) 130 dollars has been left (over).

  • 2
    I would say it was optional. Of course, there is a noun leftovers for food remaining from an earlier meal. Commented Apr 22, 2020 at 11:59
  • 1
    By the way: "How much money has been left over?" seems unnatural to me. The issue is about how much money is now available for consumption now. That's part of the reason why you're far more likely to hear "How much money is left [over]?"
    – Jaime
    Commented Feb 15, 2023 at 9:12

2 Answers 2


With food and money at least, the 'over' is optional. It has a function though: it implies the stuff that's still in the wallet or fridge (or whatever) is available for consumption later.

And not just food and money: you could say, "after the training course, there were three learner packs left over."

You probably wouldn't say, for example, "when we got to the meeting, there were three seats left over."

And you definitely wouldn't say, "after the bloody battle with the pirates, there were only four able seamen left over."


According to Cambridge Dictionary, "over" is optional

If something is left (over), it was not previously used or eaten

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