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French translations of this preposition, prefix, verbal & nominal particle: au-dessus de, chez soi, re-, par-, encore, sur-, dé-, trans-. Preceding a number in a noun phrase, "over" is translated as plus de

Preposition / Adverb


The following is a prepositional use, not a situational one:

  • I walked over the bridge. (prep.) (j'ai traversé le pont.)

These examples are situative:

  • I walked over to his office. (adv. / situative) (situatives are words like "here" or "there")
  • I just walked over. (adv. / situative)
  • I just walked the dog over. (adv. / situative)

The following is idiomatic:

  • I just ran over the dog. (prep./part.) (J'ai écrasé le chien avec la voiture.)

Preposition: over vs. above

  • Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high...

Everyone knows Dorothy's song from the movie Wizard of Oz (1939). (movie version of Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1900)

A photographer I've met in Paris has named her blog "Somewhere over my rainbow", an image that I must admit has grown on me over the years.

It seems to me that in these examples over has the sense of beyond (au délà de). Like beyond, "over" encompasses a lot of space, all the space above the rainbow. "Somewhere above the rainbow" does not imply all the space above, just a point in space. Imagine a transatlantic flight from Helsinki to New York:

  • ?First, we flew above the North Sea, then above the North Atlantic
  • First, we flew over the North Sea then over the North Atlantic.

Adverb: over // through // again

It is possible to repeat all three of these words:

  • over and over (encore et encore)
  • again and again (encore et encore, de façon identique)
  • through and through (completely)

The difference between over and again is that when you do something over you may be applying what you learned from the previous attempt. When you do something again, you repeat the action without change. The two are interchangeable, though.

With many verbs (look, read, walk, run, go1, etc.) "through" and "over" have the same meaning (or almost). They are virtually interchangeable.

However, "again" and "through" are not interchangeable.

1Note however that when "go" refers to physical motion, rather than an abstract process, the two are definitely not interchangeable! (both may well be translated by traverser in French, however.)

  • I went (over / *through) the bridge.
  • The tunnel goes (*over / through) the mountain.


A synonym for "more than". The opposite of under: e.g. Over 50% of the senators voted for the measure. That old car has over 700,000 kilometers on the odometer.

Also used with the verb prefer in some dialects and registers (to is universally accepted as grammatical, over is not). e.g. I prefer butter over margarine.


Le préfixe est très productif:

  • overbearing (adj.) -- autoritaire, dominateur
  • overboard (adv. / sit.)-- par-dessus bord (Man overboard! = homme à la mer)
  • overblown (pp. --> adj.) -- pompeux, excessif, boursouflé, ampoulé
  • overclock(ing) / (-ed) (v., adj.)-- processeur qui tourne au-dessus du taux prévu par le fabricant
  • overcom(e/ing) (v., past / pres. part.)-- dépasser, surpasser
  • overheat(ed) (v., past part. --> adj.) -- surchauffer, surchauffé, overheated argumentation: une argumentation trop passionnée)
  • overlap(ping) (v.) -- se chevaucher, empiéter sur
  • overly (deg adv. / mod.) -- almost exculsively negative: "not overly" -- (pas) trop N (adverb of degree)
  • overlook(ing) (v.) -- miss out, surplombant
  • overrid(e/ing) (v., n.) -- supercede, outrepasser oxford
  • overrul(e/ing) (v.) -- reverse a lower court ruling oxford

  • oversee(ing) (v.) -- surveiller / gérer de loin / manage from afar / steer (piloter): Cf. overseer @ gogl-img
  • oversight (past part. -> n.) -- 1) mistake, erreur d'inattention 2) pilotage
  • overtak(e/ing) (v.) -- dépasser, doubler
  • overwhelm (v.) -- déborder, submerger, accabler

une liste complementaire et plus complète à laquelle j'ai un peu collaboré chez agregink

NP adjectives / adverbs

  • An over-the-counter (OTC) drug can be bought without a prescription.
  • That outfit is over the top.
  • They're over the hill.


  • think (STH) over (STH): réfléchir en profondeur
  • go (*STH) over (STH): parcourir, répéter

  • do it over = redo it (from the beginning to the end, but correcting any mistakes. "Do it again" on the other hand suggests repeating the same action without any changes.)
  • read it over: ambiguous: le relire ou le parcourir.

  • get over it: s'en remettre
  • get it over with: accomplir / subir un acte peu réjouissant
  • get it done with: même sens (plus rare)

  • make-over
  • take-over: prise de pouvoir, prise de contrôle