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over/on the phone



 
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over/on the phone #1 (permalink) Fri Apr 10, 2009 22:56 pm   over/on the phone
 

Hi,

I'd like to know if there's any difference between these 2 sentences:

A) They spoke on the phone.

B) They spoke over the phone.

Thank you very much for your help!
Ana Laura
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over/on the phone #2 (permalink) Sat Apr 11, 2009 0:43 am   over/on the phone
 

I wouldn't think there is a sufficient difference between A and B as long as the writer intended to say 'they talked by (utilizing) a communication method known as telephone but not (or at least not) in person'. However, my personal take is that 'on' may give a sense of the speaker speaking on the receiver of a phone (speaking his/her words into the receiver) whereas 'over' may show a scene of two terminals of a telephone system over a telephone line.

'On' may as well suggest 'on the telephone network', abstractly.
Haihao
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over/on the phone #3 (permalink) Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:11 am   over/on the phone
 

the conventional or correct way of spaeking is ...... they spoke over phone ..... i dont know whether there is any difference between the two
Hema.s
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over/on the phone #4 (permalink) Sat Apr 11, 2009 9:57 am   over/on the phone
 

Hi Ana,

I would say that 'on' (in this context) is more precise than 'over'. I would choose 'on the phone' as the most common way of saying that you are talking to someone by using the phone. 'Over' has a more general association. You would for example refer to a radio programme as being 'on air' and mean that it is being broadcast now. You would in a far more general sense refer to radio programmes being sent out 'over the airwaves'.

Alan
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