leave (over)

< Previous | Next >


Senior Member
"No food has been left over after the meal."

Is over optional here? Will the meaning of the sentence change without using it?
Thanks a lot.
  • Thomas Tompion

    Senior Member
    English - England
    I wouldn't say either was strictly correct, Caireo, though people might say them, and, if they did, I don't think the over would make any difference.

    I'd say no food has been left over from the meal, and you could remove the over without altering the meaning, or the correctness of the sentence.


    Senior Member
    Thank you, Thomas. So I made another instance here:
    "My prepaid phone has some minutes left over." So I guess over is optional here as explained? Thank you.
    Not really.
    Without the left, I'd interpret it just as is. But with the left, I'd assume that you're saying that you didn't reach your maximum limit last billing cycle, and now they're being added to the next one.
    I think there's a distinct difference using over.

    To me 'No food has been left' means that the diners have eaten all the food on their plates (there may still be some available for second helpings).

    'No food has been left over' means that there is not even any food remaining in the serving dishes or still in the kitchen.

    Food left on plates should be thrown away, but leftovers (in serving dishes or cooking pots) can be used later.



    Senior Member
    English - England
    I would say that there is a difference between "left" and "left over"

    "left over" has an implication of surplus. It means "too much"

    "There was food left over" means that there was too much food for a single meal.

    "My prepaid phone has too many minutes." doesn´t make much sense.
    < Previous | Next >