[as far + adjective as + noun/adjective]

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Hi everone,

In these two sentences below, I hope someone tells me what I underlined conveys:

1- Sit as far back as possible from the air bag.
2- Throughout history people have played some version of a kicking game. What world now calls football, or soccer in the U.S, began as far back as 2500 B.C with the Chinese game of tsu chu.

Thanks a lot,
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    They convey the same kind of thing as 'far back', but comparing it to something else. I'm not quite sure what 'far back' is, so let's leave that for a moment. In a simpler case:

    It's big.
    It's very big.
    It's as big as a house.

    They're three adjective phrases, with the same function in the clause, with different amounts of modification. The third of them compares the bigness to something else. Likewise, with the different ways of modifying 'far back'.

    So what is 'far back'? I think 'far' modifies the preposition 'back' (traditionally called an adverb) - we can also say 'a long way back', with a different modifier. So the underlined expressions are preposition phrases.


    Senior Member
    As an addition to entangledbank's reply:

    In sentence 1, 'back' means 'to the rear' (AHD). You want to sit as far away from the air bag as possible in a direction that is opposite to it so that you have the air bag in front. 'Front' and 'back' are antonyms.

    In sentence 2, 'back' means 'in a past time,' (AHD). The phrase may be expanded: 'as far back in time as 2500 B.C.' I think the opposite of 'back' in this case is 'ahead': as far ahead (in time) as 2050.
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