by far: evidently, clearly or greatly

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baab

Senior Member
Vietnamese
She is by far the smartest student.

I wonder what is your understanding about the adverb "by far" here.

1. evidently, clearly
2. greatly
 
  • baab

    Senior Member
    Vietnamese
    Thanks. I looked it up in many dictionaries and both #1 and #2 are listed. I wonder which one a native speaker would choose.
    by farby a considerable margin
    I saw this meaning too and it seems to me that "by a considerable margin = greatly".
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    Yes, "greatly" is right, though we wouldn't put it that way. Basically she is not only the smartest in her class, but she is very much smarter than any of the others. Maybe they did a test, and she got 95%, and nobody else got more than 80%.
     
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