by far and away

andersxman

Senior Member
Denmark/danish
Just to check:

Intstead of saying: He's by far the best boxer in the country, might I also say: "he's by far and away the best boxer in the country"?

(It would appear so looking in the dictionary:- by far : far and away <is by far the best runner)

So my real question is: can I always choose freely between "by far" and "by far and away" - do they have the same "strenght"? What difference is there in the ears of an English native speaker?
 
  • Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Hi Andersxman,

    As a US English almost-native speaker, the expressions that ring true to my ear are "by far" and "far and away" (without by).

    As for strength of expression, my gut feeling is that "far and away" is a bit stronger but perhaps a bit more informal.

    A UK English speaker will probably tell you something else.
     

    andersxman

    Senior Member
    Denmark/danish
    Oh, so the "far and away"-one is without the "by", is it?

    So it would be "he's far and away the best boxer in the country"???

    And NOT "He's by far and away the best boxer in the country"??
     

    A90Six

    Senior Member
    England - English.
    andersxman said:
    Oh, so the "far and away"-one is without the "by", is it?

    So it would be "he's far and away the best boxer in the country"???

    And NOT "He's by far and away the best boxer in the country"??
    Yes. they both mean, by a considerable amount. The person/thing is such a distance ahead of the others, in whatever quality is being described, that no other would come could come anywhere near.

    Unlike far and away, by far can be added after the description.
    "He is by far the best boxer in the country":tick:
    "He is the best boxer in the country by far":tick:
    "He is far and away the best boxer in the country":tick:
    "He is the best boxer in the country far and away":cross:
     

    coconutpalm

    Senior Member
    Chinese,China
    I think "by far" stresses on "time", while "far and away" stresses on both "time" and "space", but virtually they mean the same thing. Am I right with it?
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    coconutpalm said:
    I think "by far" stresses on "time", while "far and away" stresses on both "time" and "space", but virtually they mean the same thing. Am I right with it?
    I don't have any sense of by far having a time element.
    Might you have some element of so far at the back of your mind?
     

    maxiogee

    Banned
    imithe
    I don't think I've heard anyone in Ireland ever say "by far and away" - it is always "far and away" or "by far". I think this is an erroneous conflation of the two phrases. Googlefight gives a 4,450,000 for "far and away" to 313,000 for "by far and away" - however it should be borne in mind that there is a film called "Far and Away" produced some years ago by Ron Howard and starring Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman - which would inflate that count somewhat.
     

    andersxman

    Senior Member
    Denmark/danish
    I was reading a chapter of Derek W. Urwins "The community of Europe" - A history of European integration since 1945", and found "by far and away" used like I suggested in the opening of this thread.

    "For most countries outside the six, Britain was the natural leader, not just because of historical relationships, but because it would have by far and away the largest European economy outside the EEC."

    On the back of the book it says:
    "Derek Urwin is Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Aberdeen"

    Maybe it's a Scottish thing?
     
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