(Get angry )about or over


Senior Member
J'ai remarqué qu'en Anglais plusieures tournures prennent "over" au lieu de "about" ou parfois les deux , je voulais savoir s'ils étaient toujours interchangeables. Par exemple : to argue over / about
To get angry /sad. Over / about
To complain over / about
Peut-on les interchanger?

  • guillaumedemanzac

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England Home Counties
    over would be a person or a problem and about would be more for a particular subject/topic/incident.
    and about is therefore more common.
    I argued with her about that but we agreed to disagree.
    He argued about who had the right to do what.
    They always argued about the stupidest little things.
    I argued over my sister getting first choice/the best seat.

    Again BNC (google BNC) is the best reference for examples and they give a long list (22)of "argue over +" = Russia's new name; the merits of; taste; ownership;the logic of; such good fortune. looks and clothes etc etc ...
    "argue about +" has a much longer list (108), including: which channel; everything; the sex life of ...; which view;trivial things; the rules; the truth etc etc ...
    Context and usage - you can also look up phrases with sad about (43)/over (3), angry about (103)/over (21), complain about (309)/over (1)
    Actually you can clearly see the precedence about has in these lists and it is also obvious that over is used more with specific phrases and contexts e.g. "argue over the merits of ....." is a common fixed phrase - you could say argue about the merits of .. but it is not instantly recognizable.


    Senior Member
    French - France
    Chez Cambridge, on distingue assez peu over de about :

    /ˈəʊ.vər //ˈoʊ.vɚ/  preposition  CONNECTED WITH 
    (referring to a cause of interest, worry, discussion, etc.) connected with or about

    There's no point in arguing over something so unimportant.
    I need time to talk/think over your proposal (= to discuss/consider it carefully).
    The legal battle was over who should have custody of the child.
    Chez Merriam-Webster, on a une vision des choses un peu plus originale. La définition qui correspond le plus à l'usage qui nous intéresse est :

    used as a function word to indicate the object of an expressed or implied occupation, activity, or concern

    <trouble over money>
    <met with advisers over lunch>
    Dans le second exemple cependant, over prend un sens plus proche de during.

    On pourrait déceler une légère différence de sens entre les prépositions over et about (liée à leur sens de base) mais dans les contextes indiqués ci-dessus, on constate que les deux prépositions sont susceptibles d'être employées.

    Edit : le "learner's dictionary" de Merriam-Webster est en fait beaucoup plus explicite :

    12 : because of (someone or something)

    Don't get angry over [=about] something so silly. ▪ He got into trouble over a comment about his wife's mother. ▪ She was crying over her old boyfriend. ▪ Afterwards, we laughed over the incident.

    13 : concerning or regarding (something)

    ▪ There is still some controversy over [=about] the use of the drug. ▪ a dispute over the land ▪ the debate over assisted suicide
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