overeat – overbook – overcrowded – overweight…The prefix ‘over-‘ often adds the meaning of ‘too much’ to words. It talks about excess. If someone eats too much, they overeat. If an airline sells more tickets than there are seats on a plane, the flight is overbooked. If there are too many people in a bar, it is overcrowded. If you cook something for too long, it is overcooked. If someone is obese, they might be described as overweight.
Here are some more examples of words which use the prefix ‘over-‘. Which of them follow the meaning of the examples above?
- What most people miss at Machu Picchu – One hundred years after it was discovered, some architectural treasures are still overlooked. http://www.bbc.com/travel/feature/20110720-what-most-people-miss-at-machu-picchu
- Train drivers work 35 hours a week on a shift system, plus paid overtime when required. This means that sometimes they start work very early in the morning and at other times finish late at night. They also work some weekends and bank holidays. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/studentlife/careersandchoices/dreamjobs/transport/train_driver.shtml
- The Indian Ocean is the third largest body of water on Earth at more than 6,000 miles wide and covering 13% of the world’s surface. It is home to 5,000 species of fish, many of which only exist in the Indian Ocean. But it is also an ocean under threat from global issues such as over-fishing and climate change, which make this an ocean on the edge. http://www.bbc.co.uk/oceans/locations/indian/coral_nursery.shtml
- Christmas can put an extra strain on the finances of most families and it’s usually women who take on the responsibility of buying presents and managing the household budget. Many are tempted to overspend on credit and store cards, forgetting about the true cost until the bills arrive in January. http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/womanshour/03/2009_51_mon.shtml
- Cheap cigarettes containing rat poison, battery acid and dead flies are being sold to children as young as seven in Middlesbrough, says Trading Standards. Middlesbrough Trading Standards says there are 50 “Tab houses” in the town selling illegal cigarettes at half the price of legitimate shops. Organised criminal gangs oversee the production of some cigarettes in factories in China and Eastern Europe. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-tees-14207370
- Chances are you’ve heard that a little alcohol – especially wine – is good for the heart and for health generally. We look at the facts and find a little wine is probably fine – just don’t overdo it. http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/content/wellbeing/features/wine-health/1/
- Air travel has been growing at a rate of 10% a year and an upgrade in the country’s main airports is long overdue. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-11413890