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1) What are you doing here? 2) What are you doing over here?

When I bump into a friend, are the two questions above all correct? If so, does "over" here imply that friend comes from another place to here?

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  • Used with "here" the preposition "over" is directional. One can't be "over here" (or do, or be doing), one can only come "over here". Sep 17, 2015 at 20:40
  • Actually, scratch that. I think the directionality is in my imagination... I'll prepare an answer if I can. Sep 17, 2015 at 21:42
  • @VictorBazarov: Rubbish! I'm over here! Jul 6, 2020 at 13:58

1 Answer 1

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Your comprehension is correct. The meaning of "over here" when talking of position or direction implies that the origin of the supposed transition is somewhat remote with respect to "here".

(looking around and not seeing) "Where are you?" -- "I'm over here!"
(from a table in the far corner) "Come over here, private!"

So, when you ask your friend

"What are you doing over here?"

, you likely mean

"What are you doing here, so far away from where I expected you to be?"

or

"What are you doing here, all the way from {the other place}?"

Such additional meaning is of course absent from the simple "What are you doing here?"

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  • + you can use 'over' by itself too with the same meaning- (in, at, to, toward etc) a location away in relation to another location: We went over to say hi; They sent over more troops before long; we handed over our money; We can drive over- or even walk- it's not far etc
    – Daniel
    Nov 16, 2018 at 18:01

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