Despite being (a)\ a good teacher, (b)\ he has no influence on his pupil. (c)\ No error (d)

I am confused between option (c) and (d). I can't understand which phrase would be more appropriate, "influence on" or "influence over" in this context.

Can both of them be used interchangeably? In that case the answer would be (d).

  • 1
    Sunaina, welcome to ELL. So your question passes the "good question" test, you might want to put "influence over/influence on" in the title and try to tell us what you think they might mean, if different. :) ell.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask
    – Lambie
    Commented Aug 2, 2021 at 14:39

1 Answer 1


I would say that in practice, there is very little difference between "have no influence on somebody" and "have no influence over somebody".

Removing the no, it is typical to say "have an influence on" vs. "have influence over".

If somebody had an influence on me, it means I changed somehow because of that person. For example: My friend had a positive influence on me, and I am now a better person as a result.

If somebody has influence over someone or something, it means they have power to affect it. Over emphasizes the power imbalance, the fact that someone has authority.

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