10 ways ‘FAR’ is used in English grammar.

Here are 10 ways ‘far’ is used ranked by order of frequency:

1. A2 general adverb

*Numbers on the right are the frequency in iWeb corpus:

(RR) 1578722

far‘ means ‘at, to or from a great distance in space or time‘  For example:

2. B1 phrase

so far‘ means ‘until now

3. B2 adverb of degree:

far + comparative‘ means ‘very much

(RG) 571418

  • I’d far rather go to the United States.
  • I’d far sooner visit India.
  • Your English is far better.
  • It cost far more.
  • He drinks far too often.

4. B2 complex subordinating conjunction

(CS32) 498039

  • As far as I know, he’s never been in trouble with the police.    (you think something is true, but cannot be sure)
  • It’s all over as far as I’m concerned.                                               (someone’s opinion)

5. B2 adjective + noun

meaning ‘distant’

(JJ) 184065

  • His office is at the far end of the corridor.

6. B2 adverb phrase

by a great amount

(RR22) 177881

7. C1 Adverb phrase of degree + adjective

(RG21) 61815

8. ‘Adjective phrase +  noun‘ or  ‘locative adverb

‘far off’ ‘far-off’ (unlisted in the English Vocabulary Profile means these are very rare!)

Adjective meaning: remote in time or space.

A far-off planet.

(JJ21) 21441

He went far off the topic.

(RL) 2966

9. C2 complex subordinating conjunction

‘insofar as’  means ‘to the extent that’

(CS43) 11667

Throughout, Machiavelli appears entirely unconcerned with morality, except insofar as it’s helpful or harmful to maintaining power.

(Listen to this sentence)

10. Adverb phrase

The phrase ‘far and away’ means ‘by a very large amount’.

(RR42) 1674

It is, by far and away, the largest print library in the world.

(listen to this sentence)

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