Surpass Vs Overtake???

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Senior Member
Brazilian Portuguese
Hello amigos!:)

Our US sales have overtaken/surpassed our sales in Europe now.

The number of divorces has overtaken/surpassed the number of marriages.

In the context above, Have both verbs got same meaning??

Thanks in advance;

  • Harry Batt

    Senior Member
    USA English
    By a matter of usage, surpassed is used in commercial matters. Overtaken is used in circumstances where there is a race. Eg., In a novel two guys are romancing the same girl. The author writes, "Joe was spending more time with Sally but his chances were overtaken by Pedro who gave her an excellent palamino. and for surpassed, The boss talks, eg "We lead the sale of cotton in Andorra but I want to surpass everyone i n the other dry goods. They can be interchanged without losing their meanings.
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