Added: Morrisa Nappi - Date: 14.11.2021 05:59 - Views: 10919 - Clicks: 7979
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It only takes a minute to up. Connect and share knowledge within a single location that is structured and easy to search. Why is the preposition over used here? I first thought that it would be with , but then, we discuss things with somebody and not something. Also, it is usually the practice that we have arguments over a certain topic, so discussion over a cup of tea doesn't sound well reasonable. Using this construction, even where it is less ambiguous, to mean "while eating dinner" is not very idiomatic.
You can have wine with dinner; you have a discussion over dinner or during dinner. My guess is that that's why the shorter "over" idiom came to be--it avoids the ambiguity of "with" but is simpler than constructions like "while we eat" or "to accompany" or suchlike.
As a mnemonic--and a plausible origin--think of two people sitting at a table drinking tea. The tea is in cups on the table; the discussion passes over it, above the table. The discussion is literally happening "over" the tea. Suggesting the matter is discussed 'over a cup of tea' would indicate a less formal approach, more casual and less threatening. Whereas, 'We shall discuss the matter', for an english speaker, might well infer some authority upon the behalf of the speaker over the person being spoken too.
To discuss in the more friendly and social environment of sharing time drinking, would indicate that there is no threat, just a need to discuss something that needs a resolve without resorting to established authority placing a demand on the second party. Also, it 'could' mean the speaker is asserting his authority over the listener with a firm instruction to resolve a matter, but removes the 'sting' from the instruction by adding 'over a cup of tea' and have no intention to ever have a cup of tea, but will require the listener to complete the task given or else a 'talking to' will ensue for failing the initial instruction.
Asked 7 years, 5 months ago. Active 6 years, 8 months ago. Viewed 36k times. I came across a sentence recently: We shall discuss this matter over a cup of tea. Thus, I want to know, What is the meaning in plain english of this senetence, and Why can't we use the preposition with instead my reason might be wrong. Thanks a lot! Improve this question. Gaurang Tandon Gaurang Tandon 3 3 gold badges 15 15 silver badges 28 28 bronze badges.
Add a comment. Active Oldest Votes. If you used "with" in this case it would change the meaning. Consider these sentences. Bob and Willard fell in love over dinner means that they fell in love while they were eating their dinner. If you say: Bob and Willard fell in love with dinner it means they really, really like their dinner.
You can restate this in other ways, however. Let's work out the details over a couple of beers can be restated as: Let's work out the details while we drink a couple of beers but this sounds a bit awkward and stilted. Improve this answer. I've upvoted this answer, which explains the idiomatic usage quite well, but I do want to emphasize that we are not compelled to explain how "over" means "above" in a literal sense. Most prepositions have plenty of secondary, tertiary, and idiomatic meanings and usages. In addition to over tea , we can say over the years, broadcasting over the radio, ruling over his kingdom , and just over the river , none of which mean "above.
I thought it meant above in the first, and through the means of in the second. Please clarify a bit. In "over dinner," it means "during"; in "over the river," it means "across," in "over the radio," it means "using". MickS MickS 11 1 1 bronze badge. up or log in up using Google. up using Facebook. up using and Password. Post as a guest Name. Required, but never shown. The Overflow Blog. Check out the Stack Exchange sites that turned 10 years old in Q3. Featured on Meta. CM escalations - How we got the queue back down to zero. Planned network maintenance scheduled for Saturday, October 2 at Should we keep the accepted answer on top or have it unpinned?
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