look down or overlook

halmom

Senior Member
korean
Which sentence do you think is the best one?

I want to live in a house , such as a penthouse where I can look down the whole city.

I want to live in a house, such as a penthouse where I can overlook the whole city.

I want to live in a house such as a penthouse where it can overlook the whole city.

I want to live in a house such as a penthouse where it can look dwon the whole city.
 
  • Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I don't think any are correct, since a penthouse isn't a house, the comma's misplaced, and we don't look down a city. But you're close:
    I want to live in a home such as a penthouse, where I can look down on the whole city.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    As Parla said, all are incorrect. The word "overlook" as a verb normally means "to fail to see or notice something". You do not want to overlook the city, but instead you want to look out over the city.
     

    Susan Y

    Senior Member
    British English
    As Parla said, all are incorrect. The word "overlook" as a verb normally means "to fail to see or notice something". You do not want to overlook the city, but instead you want to look out over the city.
    But "overlook" can also mean to have a view over; see the WR dictionary:

    o•ver•look /v. ˌoʊvɚˈlʊk; n. ˈoʊvɚˌlʊk/v.
    [~ + object]
    1. to fail to notice or think about;
      not see the importance of:overlooked several important facts.
    2. to disregard in a kind way; forgive, excuse, or pardon:I'll overlook your mistake this time.
    3. to look over, such as from a higher position:a room that overlooks the ocean.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    But "overlook" can also mean to have a view over; see the WR dictionary:
    Thank you, but I don't need to see the dictionary; I am well aware of all of the possible meanings of the verb "overlook". I think that you overlooked (and I am using the word as per definition 1) that I qualified my answer by noting what the verb normally means.
     

    Susan Y

    Senior Member
    British English
    Thank you, but I don't need to see the dictionary; I am well aware of all of the possible meanings of the verb "overlook". I think that you overlooked (and I am using the word as per definition 1) that I qualified my answer by noting what the verb normally means.
    As always, context is crucial, and in the real estate context, the third definition in the ER dictionary is the most "normal", surely. Try googling "apartment overlooking Central Park" for instance.

    I was concerned that your reply in post number 6 could unintentionally mislead the OP, given your assertion that "all are incorrect" . The only word which is arguably incorrect in the OP's second sentence is "house"; I agree with Parla's comment that a penthouse is not a house. The word "overlook" is correct and common in this real estate context.
     

    Mahantongo

    Senior Member
    English (U.S.)
    The word "overlook" is correct and common in this real estate context.
    However, the sentence structure "a house where it can overlook the whole city" is not correct. What is the antecedent of "it"? There are more problems with this sentence than whether or not a penthouse is a house. I also think you will agree that while one may speak of an apartment that overlooks Central Park, it would sound strange -- even in a real estate context -- to speak of a tenant who does the same.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    There is no difference between overlook and look down at/on, which seems to be the main point of your question.
    Your second sentence is the best out of the four, although they all have problems.

    Both apartments and people can overlook a city (even going by US dictionaries, which give this meaning first).
    I do, however, have the impression that one mostly talks about apartments that overlook other places.
     
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