as good as, as a set phrase

Discussion in 'English Only' started by rumistar, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. rumistar

    rumistar Senior Member

    I have a question about a set phrase, as good as.
    I've learned as good as as a set phrase, which means nearly or almost,
    as in According to him, the report is as good as done. She owes me an apology - she as good as called me a liar.

    I made up a sentence, "He was as good as forced to quit the job." and then asked someone I know whether the sentence is okay or not. She told me that "as good as" is usually used to compare to things and recommended this expression instead "He was pushed to quit the job.". I understand what she means.

    What I really want to ask is: Is the expression, "as good as" barely used that way? and is it better to avoid using it in general? Please help me with this. I'll appreciate any help.
    Thank you in advance.:)
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Your understanding of as good as is correct. Your knowledge of English seems to be more advanced than that of the person who advised you to say "pushed", which does not convey the meaning you intended.

    "As good as" is a set phrase and means what you say.

    "As good as" may also be a simple comparison: "These new shoes are not as good as my old ones [comparison]; I have only worn them for two months and they are as good as worn out [nearly/almost]."
  3. rumistar

    rumistar Senior Member

    Thank you very much indeed, PaulQ :)
    Words can't describe how thankful I am. Have a great day. :)
  4. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    In my English, "He was as good as forced..." doesn't really work. In AE "as good as" doesn't fit with all the possible adjectives/participles in the language, but only a smaller set (done, new, gold, etc.).

    I would expect something like "He was practically/literally/virtually forced..."

    But definitely the problem is not with the verb. "Forced to quit" makes perfect sense to me. And if Paul says "as good as forced" collocates in BE, I believe him too.
  5. Sparky Malarky

    Sparky Malarky Moderator

    English - US
    He was as good as forced to quit? I'm sorry, but this sentence sounds fine to me. I hate to disagree with my fellow AE speakers, but I wouldn't turn a hair at this.

    Also: "They as much as forced him to quit" sounds exactly like something my mother would have said.
  6. wandle

    wandle Senior Member

    English - British
    'As good as forced to quit' seems good colloquial English to me; but in written English I would say 'virtually forced' instead.

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