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  #1 (permalink)  
Unread Apr 9th, 2009, 02:34 pm
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Join Date: Feb 9th, 2009
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Ana laura is on a distinguished road
Default over/on the phone

Hi

Do these two phrases mean the same?

A) They spoke over the phone.

B) They spoke on the phone.


Thank you for your help!!
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Unread Apr 11th, 2009, 10:04 am
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Default Re: over/on the phone

Hey, Ana:

I'd say the answer is no. I would say they spoke on the phone. But that he told me the bad news over the phone.

My advice is that we use 'on the phone,' normally and 'over the phone' when we want to talk about the telephone as a method of communication. I like spy novels, and the characters in the spy novels are always saying things like "we can't talk about this over the phone," referring to the phone as a 'channel' for communication.

If that doesn't help, feel free to tell me and I'll try to explain it again,
-Toby
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Unread Apr 11th, 2009, 11:08 am
Sue
 
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Default Re: over/on the phone

Yes - over the phone says how the message is communicated - so you could say for example : I think it would be better to tell him the news face to face rather than over the phone or by e-mail.

on the phone, on the other hand, would be used to explain where the people who were talking are at the time. So I'm afraid John can't talk to you at the moment. He's on the phone. Or : I'd rather speak to him on the phone than send him an e-mail.
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Unread Apr 11th, 2009, 09:06 pm
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Default Re: over/on the phone

It's clear now. You both have explained it really well.

Thanks a lot!
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