He was jealous of his wife over his friend

Wolverin

New Member
Russian
Hi guys,
Could you please clarify this:

If we want to express the following idea: He is jealous of his wife's relationship with his friend
(in other words, he's jealous of his wife that he thinks she's cheating on him with his friend),
could we just say "He was jealous of his wife over his friend" instead?
I mean, does it have the same ring\mean the same thing to you as native speakers? Or is it just rare/conversational/makes no sense at all?

You see, there was a rather lengthy discussion on this topic in our forum, (Multitran) and opinion is divided on the subject.
Unfortunately, the discussion was mostly in Russian:))

Thank you, you opinion will be greatly appreciated,
Wolverin
 
  • Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    In my opinion, the correct way is

    He is jealous of his friend (over his wife).

    You can omit what is in the parentheses, but if you are asking about using "over", it must be correct.
     

    manon33

    Senior Member
    English - England (Yorkshire)
    I cannot think that 'over' sounds idiomatic in any case. 'He's jealous of his friend because of the business with his wife' sounds more natural, perhaps?
     

    Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    I think that the best way of expressing this is how Wolverin did so originally:
    He is jealous of his wife's relationship with his friend.
    It's the relationship which is causing the jealousy.
     

    Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    What we want to know is this.

    Suppose, Peter is some guy. Linda is his wife. Jim is Peter's friend. Now, Peter starts noticing that Jim and Linda look at each other in a certain way. So Peter gets jealous.
    Is the following sentence correct?

    Peter is jealous of Jim over Linda.
     

    Wolverin

    New Member
    Russian
    Yes, I confirm the previous post. That is exactly how Albionneur stated it
    originally in our forum and was arguing for it.
    Some guys (including myself) were against that usage.
    However, it is obviously not up to us, foreigners, to make a final judgment.
    Please tell us how you feel about it (right-wrong, possible-impossible, etc.)
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    It sounds extremely odd to me.

    If someone is jealous of someone I think of it more as envious of someone. If I'm jealous of my co-worker it means that I wish I had been given the opportunities the co-worker has been given. I don't think the man wishes he had had the opportunity to have an affair with his friend. :)

    The "over" also sounds odd to me when applied to a person. I can see it applied to an incident or an event:

    He became very jealous over the affair his wife had with his friend.

    That's still a stretch to me. To me it would make more sense and sound more natural as:

    He's very jealous (ever) since his wife had an affair with his friend.
     
    Last edited:

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I've read them. :) I'm not sure what the meaning of "jealous of his co-worker" would mean under those definitions. Can you explain, panj? (I think this is on-topic because of the "jealous of his wife").
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    [...]
    If we want to express the following idea: He is jealous of his wife's relationship with his friend
    (in other words, he's jealous of his wife that he thinks she's cheating on him with his friend),
    could we just say "He was jealous of his wife over his friend" instead?
    I mean, does it have the same ring\mean the same thing to you as native speakers? Or is it just rare/conversational/makes no sense at all?
    A problem here is that we wouldn't easily say He is jealous of his wife's relationship with his friend. So the question of whether we would say instead "He is jealous of his wife over his friend" is doubly difficult.

    The person who he would be jealous of is the friend, not the wife, but I think this situation - which is common enough both in literature and life - is most usually expressed by saying something like he was jealous because he was suspicious of his friend's behaviour with his wife.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    Peter is jealous of Jim over Linda. - I would not say it that way. But now that it's been said anyway, I imagine Jim has an affair with Linda and Peter envies him because Peter himself wants to have an affair with Linda. :)

    The expression "jealous + of" usually tells me there's envy involved.

    I'm jealous. Jealousy is a provoking feeling. I get so jealous every time I see her with Peter... - this is no envy any more, it's jealousy :)

    Peter is jealous because of the way Peter talks to/looks at... Linda. - I would probably say something like this.
     

    Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    The reason I stood behind my way of putting it is what I found on the Internet. Namely, two stories written by native speakers of English.

    http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4531806/1/Zodiac_Match

    "At least we know why Carly doesn't know that Sam likes Freddie. Sam probably fears Carly's reaction if and when she told her that she was jealous of her over him."

    http://marysue.pbworks.com/w/page/20450848/Black-Sylke

    For Sylke's part, in typical Mary Sue fashion, she hated Lady Une because she was jealous of her over Treize. She went as far as tear up pictures of Treize and Une if they happened to be standing together, saving Treize's image, but getting rid of Une's. (Treize is a guy)

    I thought maybe this usage is possible in spoken English.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    I have heard people talking about being "jealous over" somebody. The person they were "jealous over" might be either the person whose affection they are afraid they mighf loose, or the person they fear might gain the affection of the person they care about. It is a colloquial usage. I wouldn't use it if I were trying to write standard English.

    However, I have not heard it extended as in your examples. Obviously people do say it or write it, but I would avoid it. I think it is uncommon, and it sounds strained to me.
     

    Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    Valentino Jealous of Tom Ford Over Colin Firth

    Spies say Ford was dining with Firth when Valentino, retired from fashion but now the subject of a documentary, waltzed in, "looked at Tom's table and was noticeably upset to see him with the celebrity of Oscar season. Valentino kept staring at Tom's table with daggers, like he was jealous that Tom had the best celebrity accessory in town. Finally, he went over to introduce himself."

    NY Post: Fashion Freeze.

    http://fashioncopious.typepad.com/fashioncopious/2011/02/valentino-jealous-of-tom-ford-over-colin-firth.html
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Do as you wish.

    We are only giving our opinions based on what we see as standard English. You are free to decide otherwise.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    What point are you making, Albionneur? You'll find examples of many forms in newspapers and journals.

    Unless I've misunderstood your example, I don't think it's concerned with sexual jealousy, which is what I think Wolverin asked about.
     

    Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    Can it be possible that you, as native speakers, have just discovered a new way of getting an idea like this across? I mean, I'm not a native speaker, but every day I come across various usages of English words online. English is quite a flexible language, it seems. Of course, I'll take what you're saying into account and try to refrain from wording my thoughts that way. Still, a doubt remains, given the examples found on the Internet.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Don't think I'm rushing to use your suggestion as a way of expressing this idea. I've already explained both that I wouldn't countenance it, and that there is a great deal of poor English on the web.
     

    Albionneur

    Banned
    Tatar & Russian
    We've already added this word combination to the online Russian-English dictionary.
    It looks like this:

    (speaking of a male) to be jealous of someone (another male) over someone (a female)

    What should we do - 1) completely remove it from the dictionary; 2) add coll. (colloquial) to it; 3) just leave "to be jealous of" or 4) suggest some other way?
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    It depends on what you want your dictionary to do.

    If I were writing an English Russian dictionary, I would be cautious about including in it a Russian construction that could not be found in any Russian dictionary.
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    We've already added this word combination to the online Russian-English dictionary.
    It looks like this:

    (speaking of a male) to be jealous of someone (another male) over someone (a female)

    What should we do - 1) completely remove it from the dictionary; 2) add coll. (colloquial) to it; 3) just leave "to be jealous of" or 4) suggest some other way?
    I'd put coll. I think the usage is probably wide enough to be in your dictionary.

    In the example I objected to I think a male was being jealous of another male over another male, where no sort of sexual jealousy was suggested.

    PS. but I'd take Cagey's opinion very seriously, remembering that she speaks AE.
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    While I refrain from commenting on whether or not this example could make a valid dictionary entry, I find that male-female distinction in the brackets rather... strange. We all know a woman could be just as jealous of another woman over a man...
     

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    While I refrain from commenting on whether or not this example could make a valid dictionary entry, I find that male-female distinction in the brackets rather... strange. We all know a woman could be just as jealous of another woman over a man...
    I think we all know it can go many ways, Boozer. Isn't the important point that we are talking about sexual jealousy, rather than, for instance, jealousy over the way the other person plays table tennis?
     

    boozer

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian
    I think we all know it can go many ways, Boozer. Isn't the important point that we are talking about sexual jealousy, rather than, for instance, jealousy over the way the other person plays table tennis?
    Yes, TT, that is the important point and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said so far.I was just making a small observation - namely, that if at all this uncommon phrase is to become a dictionary entry, it should not be limited in such a strange way (of a male-another male-a female), perhaps...
     

    jedilost

    Member
    turkish
    Now I am confused. Does the word "jealousy" only contians the meaning "envy" or does it mean somethnig like "being angry". Because if a guy suspects that his wife is cheating on him and if he feels jealous, then i guess this kind of jealousy doesn't have anythnig to do with the notion "envy". It is more about getting angry.

    Is that so?
     
    Last edited:

    Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Yes, TT, that is the important point and I wholeheartedly agree with everything you've said so far.I was just making a small observation - namely, that if at all this uncommon phrase is to become a dictionary entry, it should not be limited in such a strange way (of a male-another male-a female), perhaps...
    I'm very sorry. I hadn't taken the point that the dictionary entry was going to be phrased like that. I agree entirely.

    Jeilost. I think sexual jealousy is a particular sort of jealousy, which mean much more than envy. Have you looked at those threads linked by Panjandrum?
     

    Xander2024

    Senior Member
    Russian
    I can still remember rummaging through all my dictionaries back in the early 90's trying to find the English equivalent for this Russian expression. What I learned was that there just weren't any equivalents. The examples given there went like: "He is jealous of his wife because his wife likes such-and-such."
    There are always some expressions in any language that don't have their equivalents in other languages. You have to go with it.:)
     

    whynottail

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    What we want to know is this.

    Suppose, Peter is some guy. Linda is his wife. Jim is Peter's friend. Now, Peter starts noticing that Jim and Linda look at each other in a certain way. So Peter gets jealous.
    Is the following sentence correct?

    Peter is jealous of Jim over Linda.
    I think in this sentence, like in the examples you subsequently quoted, the word "over" actually means "about", and such usage of "over" is certainly acceptable. But then again "over" meaning "about" in this sentence fails to deliver the message that "Jim and Linda look at each other in a certain way".

    Thus, what about-

    Peter is jealous of Jim over how Jim and Linda have been looking suggestively at each other.

    Peter is jealous of Jim for the suggestive way Jim and Linda have been looking at each other.

    I regret that I am unable to make them shorter. I believe some native speakers can; and I believe they also can think of better alternative sentences.
     

    srta chicken

    Senior Member
    US English
    Can it be possible that you, as native speakers, have just discovered a new way of getting an idea like this across? I mean, I'm not a native speaker, but every day I come across various usages of English words online. English is quite a flexible language, it seems. QUOTE]

    A lot of native speakers speak bad English--take "Between you and I", for example.

    I think the problem is that we say "they fought over XYZ," and that use somehow got transformed into "he was jealous or her over XYZ"

    But as many others have said, that doesn't make it right, even if it did get published! :)
     
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