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  1. #1
    Little man is offline Junior Member
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    come up and come over

    Hello.
    Could you, please, tell me the difference between these phrasal verbs. I'd like to know only one meaning - to approach; to move towards somebody/something.

    1. Michael came over/up and put his arm around me.
    2. An officer came over/up to him and asked him what was in his bag.
    3. I looked in the mirror and saw a police car coming over/up behind us.

    Can I use them interchangeably or there is a catch?
    I hope for your help.

  2. #2
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: come up and come over

    Quote Originally Posted by Little man View Post
    Hello.
    Could you, please, tell me the difference between these phrasal verbs? I'd like to know which one means only one meaning - to approach; to move towards somebody/something.

    1. Michael came over/up and put his arm around me.
    2. An officer came over/up to him and asked him what was in his bag.
    3. I looked in the mirror and saw a police car coming over/up behind us.

    Can I use them interchangeably or is there is a difference between them? catch?

    I hope for your you can help.
    I wouldn't use "over" in #3, so that's one difference. Also, consider using "went" instead of "came" in #2. I assume you know the difference between those.

    In addition, I consider "come over" to be more friendly than "come up". For example, if you're inviting someone to your place, it can work better.

    A mother might say to her child:
    Go and ask little Vanessa from next door if she'd like to come over and play with you for a while.
    "Come up" wouldn't work as well in that sentence.

  3. #3
    Tarheel's Avatar
    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
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    Re: come up and come over

    I don't see how there would be any difference in meaning.

    In the third one, the phrase in bold is not needed. Say: "I looked in the rear-view mirror and saw a police car behind us."

  4. #4
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: come up and come over

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    I don't see how there would be any difference in meaning.
    So, do you consider the two sentences below equally acceptable?

    A police car was coming over behind us.
    A police car was coming up behind us.

  5. #5
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    Tarheel is offline VIP Member
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    Re: come up and come over

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    So, do you consider the two sentences below equally acceptable?
    I would prefer the second one.

    (When I started my first post there had, apparently, been no responses.)

  6. #6
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: come up and come over

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    In addition, I consider "come over" to be more friendly than "come up".
    Mae West sounded pretty friendly when she invited someone to come up and see her.
    I am not a teacher.

  7. #7
    Piscean is offline VIP Member
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    Re: come up and come over

    I agree with what teechar wrote in post #2.

    I would just add two points.

    1. If I lived on the sixth floor of a block of flats, I might invite a person who lived on the same floor to 'come over' for a drink, and a person who lived on one of the floors below mine to 'come up' for a drink. It follows, therefore, that I would invite a person who lived on one of the floors above mine to 'come down' for a drink.

    2. If a person at a gathering 'came over' to me, I would think of them approaching me, ending up near me. They would probably be going to say something to me. If they 'came up' to me, they would end up close enough to indicate that they were definitely going to say something to me. In this context, 'up' is closer than 'over'.
    Last edited by teechar; 01-Oct-2017 at 23:35.

  8. #8
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    Re: come up and come over

    In AusE, police cars don't come over behind you. If you had a robbery at your home and called them, they might come over.

  9. #9
    teechar's Avatar
    teechar is offline Moderator
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    Re: come up and come over

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    If you had a robbery at your home and called them, they might come over.
    I hope you don't have to plead with them.

  10. #10
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: come up and come over

    Quote Originally Posted by teechar View Post
    I hope you don't have to plead with them.
    When I lived in Los Angeles, the city's police department used a very effective technique to keep the reported crime rate down: they didn't send officers when people requested them merely to report a crime. On two separate occasions I called the police to report a crime when the criminals were no longer present; both times, I called back two hours later to say I was tired of waiting and they could cancel the call.
    I am not a teacher.

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