over the years - over time?

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Ivan_I

Banned
Russian
Do they mean the same?

He will become stronger over the years.
He will become stronger over time.
 
  • Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    No.

    It may not take him years. He may grow stronger in a week or two.
    I didn't get your point. I hope it wasn't to say NO. I asked about the difference between over the years and over time. Are they synonyms?

    I think it's pretty much useless to insist that someone should necessarily become stronger in a week or two rather than over the years. It all depends on a specific situation.
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'Over the years' implies a longer time (some years) than 'over time' which could be just a month or two. So they are not synonymous.

    I think it's pretty much useless to insist that someone should necessarily become stronger in a week or two rather than over the years.
    Nobody is insisting this.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    Whether 'over time' is synonymous with 'over the years' in a discussion of change depends on what the thing is that is changing.

    If I am performing a repetitive action that requires me to estimate weight -- forming different sizes of meatballs, for example -- I might become excellent at it in a week. I would say "At first, you wouldn't know that I was supposed to make two kinds: big and little. But over time, I'd say by Wednesday, I started to get good at it."

    Long after a tragic death in my family, I might say "Over time, she stopped thinking he was home when she heard the front door slam" to mean after six or eight years the sound of the door slamming didn't make her automatically think of her dead husband.

    In this case, the action is 'becoming stronger': if a physical therapist is prescribing an exercise regimen, he could mean that the person will become stronger in a couple of months. If parents are talking about a four-year-old, they might mean their child will be able to carry heavier packages after four or five years.
     

    Roxxxannne

    Senior Member
    English (northeastern US)
    That sounds incredibly odd to me. :eek: (See my earlier post.) In this case, I might say “in no time.”
    I suppose it depends on how many repetitions of the meatball-making action one performs, how tedious the process is, and whether you are describing the passage of time immediately following your attainment of excellence or several years later. If you have to practice something hundreds of times to get good at it, you might not at first describe the attaining of excellence as happening 'in no time.' Years later, you might think of it as happening 'in no time.' But this is more philosophical than linguistic.
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    Which tense is to be used with "over the years"?

    We lost touch over the years.
    We have lost touch over the years.
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    I don't see much difference between

    1 We lost touch over the years.
    2 We have lost touch over the years.

    (Except that 2 may mean a few times)
     

    Ivan_I

    Banned
    Russian
    I am trying to say that I and my friends from childhood

    1 We lost touch over the years.
    2 We have lost touch over the years.
     
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