Friday, March 23, 2012

Common Problems (Part 41 of 50)

Use more than when you cite actual numbers. This may be one principle we'll have to surrender. I choose to make my writing as clear and as grammatically accurate as possible, so I'll hold to the old rule. I frequently see such constructions in print:

* for over a year

* had been over six months of questions

* a colleague of mine for over thirteen years

* my friend of over 30 years.

I would write more than in each of the illustrations above. Use over when you don't write a specific number:

Over a century ago. . .

Over a period of years. . .

Use more than with an exact number; 
use over when the number is inexact.


  1. Cec, if I'd ever heard this grammatical rule before, I had forgotten it. Thanks for the instruction!


What are your thoughts?