Preposition: over

Monday, October 26, 2015

I recently came across (found by chance) a question about the following headline: "At Benghazi Hearing, Shouting Match Over Hillary Clinton’s Emails".

Look at the word "over" and how it is used. A reader asked whether this means it is all over but shouting.

The headline is confusing if you think "over" is used as an adverb meaning "finished" but if you read it more carefully, you will see that "over" is a preposition that means "on the subject of" which is more logical. There was a lot of shouting on the subject of Hillary Clinton's emails at the Benghazi hearing. Of course, with headlines (and the English language in general) information is conveyed in a brief manner and prepositions help us do this.

- Lucy and Ricky often argue "over" money.
- The heated debate "over" unemployment lasted for many hours.
- Don't cry "over" spilled milk = don't be upset "over" something that has already happened and cannot be changed.

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