Oversees vs. Overseas

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Oversees and overseas are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We will look at the difference between the definitions of oversees and overseas, where these words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Oversees is the third person present form of the word oversee, which means to supervise or manage a person or group of people performing a task, to inspect or survey the fruits of a task in order to judge its quality. Related words are oversaw, overseen, overseeing. The word oversee is derived from the Old English word oferseon, meaning to observe or to survey.

Overseas describes something relating to a foreign country, most usually a country that is across an ocean or sea. Overseas may be used as an adverb or an adjective. The word overseas is a closed compound word, which is a word that is made up of two words joined together without hyphens or spaces. The word overseas is derived from the word over, meaning above, outer or across, and the word seas, meaning ocean or large pool of water.


The California Public Utilities Commission, which oversees most aspects of PG&E’s operations, has no jurisdiction over the utility’s repairs and system upgrades. (The San Francisco Chronicle)

The Treasury’s inquiry follows a subpoena sent to Huawei this summer from the United States Department of Commerce, which carries out sanctions and also oversees exports of technology that can have military as well as civilian uses. (The New York Times)

President Donald Trump is proposing to slash the corporate income tax rate and offer multinational businesses a steep tax break on overseas profits brought into the United States, officials said late on Tuesday. (The Huffington Post)

Far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen upstaged her centrist opponent Emmanuel Macron on Wednesday by making a surprise campaign stop to a home appliance factory that’s the latest hot-button symbol of French job losses to plants overseas. (The New Zealand Herald)

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