Intro narrated by LOVO voice Sophia

Is there a distinction between voice over (two words) and voiceover (one word)? Does the difference even matter?

The short answer is yes, there’s indeed a difference. And whether it matters or not depends on the context.

  • For everyday purposes, you can relax. These spellings are used interchangeably.
  • But when it comes to formal contexts — like writing a book or drafting a legal contract — the distinction could be crucial. It’s best to follow standard grammar rules and stay consistent. 

Need direction? In this blog, we’ll demystify these terms, explain their nuances, and guide you on proper usage. 

What is a voice over /voiceover?

Regardless of how you spell it, voice over/voiceover refers to the off-screen (unseen) voice that overlays visual content. It’s used in a wide range of visual media, including films, online videos, commercials, documentaries, and e-learning modules. 

Is there a difference between voice over/voiceover and narration?

These words are used interchangeably, but they’re technically distinct. The difference lies in the role the voice plays within the content.

Voice over/voiceover

  • A voice over/voiceover involves a non-diegetic voice — a voice that originates from outside the world of the story, not from a character within it. This voice provides additional information, context, or commentary to the accompanying visual content.
  • For example, in a commercial, you might hear a voice over/voiceover introducing a new product, outlining its features, or explaining how it works.
  • In a documentary, a voice over/voiceover may provide historical context, explain complex concepts, or bridge gaps in the storyline that the visuals alone cannot fill.


  • A narration provides running commentary that guides the story forward. The narrator is usually a character providing their perspective (as in many novels or movies), or an omniscient voice telling the audience what they need to know.
  • In the movie The Shawshank Redemption, for example, the character Red (played by Morgan Freeman) provides narration throughout the film. His voice doesn’t just give extra information but forms a vital part of the story, sharing insights into the characters’ lives, emotions, and the passage of time.

Despite these technical distinctions, the line between voice over/voiceover and narration is often blurred in practice. Both terms are used to describe off-screen voices that accompany visual content.

Notably, there are different types of voice over/voiceover jobs, too. Voice over work is often used for commercial, educational, and informative purposes and doesn’t usually require emotional depth. In contrast, voice acting aims to entertain, create believable stories, and evoke feelings in viewers. Understanding the difference can help you select the perfect voice for a project.

So, what is the difference between voice over and voiceover?

The real difference between voice over and voiceover lies in their grammatical functions. Here’s what you need to remember:

Voice over

  • Voice over (two words) is a noun that denotes the profession or act of providing an off-screen voice for on-screen visuals.
  • In the sentence “I am doing a voice over for the video,” voice over is used correctly as a noun.
  • “The animated movie required a lot of voice overs,” is also correct.


  • Voiceover (one word) is an adverb — a type of word that changes or qualifies the meaning of a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.
  • For example, in the sentence “He spoke voiceover, providing the dubbing for the video,” the word voiceover describes how the person spoke (that is, in a voiceover style).
  • Technically speaking, it’s incorrect to say “I am doing a voiceover,” because using an adverb in place of a noun goes against grammatical rules. A more accurate substitute would be dubbing or ADR.

All this said, if you wrote, “I am doing a voiceover,” most people will understand that you are doing voice over/voiceover work. That’s because the one-word voiceover is rarely used as an adverb in regular conversation. It’s almost always used as a noun.

Here at LOVO AI, we mostly use voiceover for ease and clarity, but we’re flexible with other spellings. 

What about voice-over?

Aside from voice over vs. voiceover, there’s another version: voice-over (with a hyphen).  

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary prefers this spelling.

The hyphen in voice-over creates a compound noun, merging the two words to function together as a single unit. Let’s illustrate its importance with a couple of examples: 

  • In the sentence, “The animator is working on the voice-over for his new movie,” voice-over is used as a noun referring to the voice that will overlay the visual content of the animator’s film. It’s a single, unified concept — the ‘voice’ recording that goes ‘over’ the visuals.
  • Now, contrast that with the sentence, “The singer is laying his voice over the existing instrumental track.”

    Here, we’re not referring to a singular concept of voice-over. Instead, we’re describing the action of the singer’s ‘voice’ being recorded ‘over’ another audio element (the instrumental track).

As you can see, the hyphen in voice-over serves a crucial purpose. It links the two words voice and over, combining them into a single unit of meaning. Without it, the two words could be interpreted separately, potentially leading to ambiguity or misinterpretation. 

Which version should you use?

In the audiovisual production industry, all three spellings — voice over, voice-over, and voiceover — are commonly used and accepted.

But in professional or academic scenarios where grammar is important, it may be more appropriate to use voice-over when referring to the task or job, and voiceover when referring to the style or technique used.

The key takeaway is to remain consistent. Shifting between different spellings could potentially confuse readers and may give the impression that you’re referring to distinct concepts when you’re not. Stick with your chosen spelling for clarity.

How to do voiceover work with AI

No matter how you spell it, a voiceover needs to be compelling and professional. But let’s face it — using human voice talents can be expensive and time-consuming. You’ll need to post voice over job listings, review auditions, coordinate schedules, record, edit, and potentially re-record for changes, all of which can cause delays.

So if you’re on a budget or need a quick voiceover for your project, try AI.

Curious about how to do voiceovers using artificial intelligence?

Look no further than LOVO AI, the best AI voice generator in the market. It takes the complexity out of voice over work, providing an array of distinct, high-quality AI voices to suit all your needs.

Whether you’re producing a commercial, narrating an e-learning module, or creating an animated short, LOVO AI offers a quick, cost-effective solution that can revolutionize how to do voiceovers. Experience the power and versatility of LOVO AI! Start today for free.