“Bethany is a lot quieter in real life than she is over the phone.”

English Lesson: Bethany is a lot quieter in real life than she is over the phone.

One of the salesperson you often communicate with came to visit your office for the first time. She seemed different than you imagined her. You're talking with a co-worker who also works with her. You say this.

Bethany is a lot quieter in real life than she is over the phone.

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(be/do something) in real life

You can talk about the way that a person is when you meet or see with the phrase "in real life".

When you know someone from seeing them on TV, talking to them on the telephone, etc., you get ideas about that person. After you meet them "in real life" you can compare your ideas about them with reality with how they really are. This phrase is very similar to "in person":

He's a lot shorter in person.

(be/do something) over the phone

Use "over" to talk about information or emotions that get communicated through the telephone.

You sound different over the phone.

Most drug dealers know better than to discuss their criminal activities over the phone.

(something) is (___er) (somewhere/some time/etc.) than (it) is (somewhere/ some time/etc.)

This expression looks really complicated, but it's easier to understand with a few examples:

It's hotter in Washington than it is in Los Angeles.

She's happier in the new apartment than she was in the old one.

English speakers often phrase comparisons differently:

Bethany is a lot quieter in person than over the phone.

It's hotter in Washington than Los Angeles.

But this is technically wrong. It can lead to confusion sometimes:

John's better friends with Ben than Stacy.

Does this mean that John & Ben are closer than John& Stacy? Or does it mean John & Ben are closer than Ben & Stacy? It's unclear. So it's better to say:

John's better friends with Ben than he is with Stacy.