Lindsay McMahon
"The English Adventurer"

Do you hear people talk about something being “overrated” in English?

Is this something that you want to be able to understand use in your conversations?

When you look at this word, it comes down to a matter of opinion when it comes to what you feel is valued or not.

When we think something is good or positive, we tend to put great value in it or rate it highly.

We’re going to look at what it means then when something is “overrated” as that can be an instance where others find value in something that you don’t.

We’re going to look at this word, how to use it, and why this is such a part of the culture and conversations.

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Understanding A Common Word

Are you a harsh critic?

Do you ever not really understand why something is getting so much positive attention?

This might be something that happens to you with something entertainment related for example.

Take a show like “Queens Gambit”—some people loved it and yet others may feel like they don’t understand why it’s getting so much attention.

Today we are going to talk about a word to express this idea where something gets so much positive attention and you may struggle to understand why—the word is “overrated.”

When you look at this word it’s really an adjective as depicted in the dictionary and the definition is “rated or valued too highly.”

So this ties into the idea that something is made into a much bigger deal than is warranted.

This is not something that you may understand, and so it seems to be valued far too highly.

There may be others like you who feel the same way, and there may be other things that you value that others may struggle to understand.

The idea of overrated is nothing new, and it’s one where a difference of opinion may dictate and so you may feel one way and somebody else feels another.

What you may find overrated may not be a popular opinion, and vice versa.

There are various ways that you may use this term, and that’s what we’re going to look at next.

How Do We Use This Word?

You’ve probably heard people talk about something being overrated.

You may have even thought this about something before without ever realizing what it means or how you might convey those feelings.

So this is a common thought and phrase, and you want to be sure to use it at the best times.

How do we use this?

  • Really when talking about some common part of culture: This is used to talk about common aspects of pop culture such as a tv show, a celebrity, or even art. You may hear people talking about how much they love something, and you might think that it measures up to what others say about it. “I thought the Queens Gambit was good, but it was a bit overrated.” “She won six Grammys. I mean, she’s good, but not that good. I think she’s a bit overrated.” “I don’t know why everyone is talking about that book. I think it’s pretty overrated.”
  • As a joke: You are saying this in a sarcastic way, and therefore you can tell that there’s a joking undertone to it. This is obviously something that you don’t mean and so it’s obvious in the statement that you make. In this capacity you could say something like “Sleep is overrated anyway!”

You can use this word in a very realistic way to evaluate something that you feel is truly not as big of a deal as other people may think.

You can use this word in a sarcastic way to convey a joke and people will pick up on the fact that you aren’t serious with what you are saying.

It’s a very common word that is used in a number of ways, and so you want to be sure to use it in the right situations.

There is the chance that it may come across negatively, particularly depending on your tone of voice.

So you want to be sure that you are using it in the right situation and with the right people so as to avoid offending anyone if a difference of opinion exists.

Why Does This Happen?

So you can start to see how this may come up in conversation, and when this idea may exist.

It may lead you to wonder why this happens, or how you may vary in opinion from somebody that you know well.

Why do you think people find some things overrated?

It comes down to the fact that everyone has different taste, and therefore the things that we value are a very individual thing.

The key is to try and understand that your judgement isn’t the only one that matters.

Try to keep an open mind because opinions may vary but it doesn’t mean one is right and one is wrong.

Even if someone tells you something is overrated, maybe you will like it.

That’s something to be aware of when it comes to this phrase—you don’t want to believe something is overrated because somebody tells you is something.

Just as you wouldn’t want somebody to just take your word for it, as they may not feel the same way.

This word is really useful, but it can really be a bit snobby or rude, and therefore it can come across as negative.

Try not to use it in a situation where it may offend someone, like at work or if somebody is a huge fan of something and you don’t share in that opinion.

Just be careful to use it in the right situation and with somebody that you can speak freely with.

Always be mindful of your intonation with this sort of phrase so that it doesn’t come across the wrong way.

It is a useful connection word, though, and it can really be used to express your own personal taste and opinion.

Other Expressions To Use In This Area

Using the word “overrated” can be just fine in conversation to convey this thought.

There are however times when you may wish to use another expression in this area.

It’s nice to have options to convey the same sort of thing, and that’s exactly what these expressions do.

They help you to say the same thing in another way, and so here are the phrases that you’ll want to use.

  • Not worth the hype: It’s basically saying that there’s a lot of excitement or hype around something, and you just don’t get it. You don’t understand why people are all excited and why they are saying things are so much better than you see them to be. You might say “I ate one brownie. I’m done. They’re not really worth the hype.”
  • Not all it’s cracked up to be: It’s the same sort of idea though the phrase has been around forever and is older and perhaps not used as often. You are saying this to convey that something is not as big of a deal as you thought it might be. You might hear “This cheese isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. I don’t get why people are so crazy about it.”

These are great phrases to use in the same type of situation.

They are great to try out as they can really get a conversation going, and may lead to great connections if used the right way.

Roleplay To Help

In this roleplay Lindsay and Michelle are watching the Emmys together, which is a television award show.

Lindsay: “Oh wow. Janice Trainer just won another award.”

Michelle: “Really? I mean…she’s good, I guess, but don’t you think she’s kind of overrated?”

Lindsay: “Maybe, but I really like her.”

Michelle: “Yeah…Oh, that new guy is going to sing the theme song now. I can’t remember his name.”

Lindsay: “Yeah, honestly, I heard him sing. He’s not all he’s cracked up to be.”

Michelle: “Really? I guess I’ll listen and decide for myself! In general, I think these awards aren’t worth the hype. Maybe I won’t watch next year.”

These can be kind of rude sounding, so you have to be careful there!

They are negative and as you can see in the roleplay, this involves a lot of complaining.


These are great connection words, but you do want to be careful that this doesn’t come across as too negatively.

It’s definitely good to have a positive attitude–and don’t ruin something for someone before they can form their own opinion!

There are times when we may all feel as if something is overrated, and you want to remember that it comes down to a difference of opinion.

This is good to get the conversation going, but be sure to be welcoming of people’s different opinions on things.

It’s okay not to agree on the value of something, so try these out in the appropriate situations and see how it can make for a great conversation starter.

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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