'far away' is a great distance but 'away' is not

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taraa

Senior Member
Persian
'far away' is a great distance but 'away' is a small distance?

1- I was away for weekend.
2- I was far away for weekend .
 
  • Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    In both cases you need 'the' weekend.

    1 is a natural sentence we would often say.
    2 just sounds peculiar.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    In both cases you need 'the' weekend.

    1 is a natural sentence we would often say.
    2 just sounds peculiar.
    Thank you. :)
    Sorry Chez, why is the second peculirm please?

    What is the difference between #1 and "I can see the target away" that #1 is correct but this is wrong, please?
    away could be anywhere - near or far.
    And you need to say "for the weekend"
    Thank you. :)
     

    Chez

    Senior Member
    English English
    What I mean is that sentence 2 is grammatically OK, but does not make sense to us in English. As la godeluna has explained: 'away for the weekend' could mean near or far away; we would never say 'I was far away for the weekend'.

    It is your context (the weekend away) that is the problem.

    It is true that 'away' can mean near or far; while 'far away' means 'a long distance away.

    A better context:
    Vietnam is very far away from England.

    But note you cannot compare:
    France is away from England. X
    Vietnam is very far away from England.

    You have to say:
    France is not far away from England.
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    What is the difference between #1 and "I can see the target away" that #1 is correct but this is wrong, please?
    As always, context makes a significant differemce.

    I can see the target away. This is a sentence that'd normally not make much sense though it's grammatical, but I can think of a (slightly contrived) context where it could make sense. But it'd have a very different meaning from the one I think you're thinking of, so we won't go into that.
    but 'away' is a small distance?
    "Away" usually just means "apart" or "separated" or "at a distance (either long or short)". It's a flexible word with different nuances of meaning depending on the sentence.

    This isn't something I usually say but sometimes, if you run into problems understanding the idiomatic use of certain English words or phrases, where logic doesn't help, just step back, don't try too hard, and wait. If you keep using the language and if you keep reading as much as you can in it, it'll come to you naturally.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Many thanks Chez for the good explanation.
    This isn't something I usually say but sometimes, if you run into problems understanding the idiomatic use of certain English words or phrases, where logic doesn't help, just step back, don't try too hard, and wait. If you keep using the language and if you keep reading as much as you can in it, it'll come to you naturally.
    Thank you Barque!
    Yes I know. That's really true. I think 'away' has a lot of usages and just want to learn them.

    As always, context makes a significant differemce.

    I can see the target away. This is a sentence that'd normally not make much sense though it's grammatical, but I can think of a (slightly contrived) context where it could make sense. But it'd have a very different meaning from the one I think you're thinking of, so we won't go into that.
    I think if I wanted to say "I can see the target from here" then "I can see the target away" would be correct, but if I wanted to talk about a great distance then "I can see the target away" should be "I can see the target far away". Right, please?
     

    Barque

    Banned
    Tamil
    I think if I wanted to say "I can see the target from here" then "I can see the target away" would be correct,
    No, they don't mean the same. You could just say "I can see the target". You need to add "from here" only if you want to emphasise that you can see it from a particular location.
    but if I wanted to talk about a great distance then "I can see the target away" should be "I can see the target far away".
    I'm afraid not. If you mean the target is visible from a great distance, you could say "You can see the target from far" (a little casual) or "You can see the target from far away" or "You can see the target from a distance". ("From a distance" here implies "from a great distance".)
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    No, they don't mean the same. You could just say "I can see the target". You need to add "from here" only if you want to emphasise that you can see it from a particular location.

    I'm afraid not. If you mean the target is visible from a great distance, you could say "You can see the target from far" or "You can see the target from a distance". "From a distance" here implies "from a great distance".
    Many thanks Barque.
     
    Last edited:

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Is "far away" for distances like hundreds of kilometers and is wrong for example here:
    "He threw the trash a long way."
    ?
     

    tunaafi

    Senior Member
    English - British (Southern England)
    It is unlikely because we happen not to say it - usually. There are very often no clear reasons for our preferring to say things one way rather than another.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    It is unlikely because we happen not to say it - usually. There are very often no clear reasons for our preferring to say things one way rather than another.
    Doesn't it anything to do with the meaning of "far away" that is "a very great distance", and here it's wrong?
     

    london calling

    Senior Member
    UK English
    'Far away' does not always mean a long way away. It depends on the context or on the speaker's perception of the distance.

    For example, I'm sitting near the kitchen table. There is a cup on the table but it's too far away for me to be able to reach it without getting up.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    'Far away' does not always mean a long way away. It depends on the context or on the speaker's perception of the distance.

    For example, I'm sitting near the kitchen table. There is a cup on the table but it's too far away for me to be able to reach it without getting up.
    :thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:
    Many thanks london calling for the good explanation. :)
     

    velisarius

    Senior Member
    British English (Sussex)
    "Far away", when it isn't in a question: "How far away is it?" negated: "not (very) far away", or modified by "too", is hardly used today in our everyday conversation.

    Over the hills and far away... (traditional song)
    A long time ago, in a land far away... (typical beginning to a fairy-tale)
    She had a far-away look in her eyes.

    Where is the hotel? Is it far/Is it a long way (away)?
    How far (away) is it?
    Not very far (away), but it's too far (away) for me.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    "Far away", when it isn't in a question: "How far away is it?" negated: "not (very) far away", or modified by "too", is hardly used today in our everyday conversation.

    Over the hills and far away... (traditional song)
    A long time ago, in a land far away... (typical beginning to a fairy-tale)
    She had a far-away look in her eyes.

    Where is the hotel? Is it far/Is it a long way (away)?
    How far (away) is it?
    Not very far (away), but it's too far (away) for me.
    Thanks a lot for the excellent explanation. :)
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    1- I was away for weekend.
    2- I was far away for weekend .
    Away was originally on(prep.) + way(n.) and indirectly indicated motion or direction from a place. Directly, it was understood as not being present [at that place].
    On” gave the idea of “someone or something being in the process” Compare: He was aboard = on board; He arrived on horseback.)
    Way” gave the idea of path, road, journey, "He said goodbye and went on his way." "The way to the town led him over the mountains." (Compare “Be on your way!” = “Away with you!” = Go away!)

    I was away for the weekend. Thus gives the idea “I was on a journey for the weekend, which thus implies I was not at home for the weekend, and this is the meaning of I was away for the weekend.
    To be away = to not be in your usual place.

    If you now add “far” to I was away for the weekend, it makes no sense at all as it becomes I was not far at home for the weekend.

    PS
    "I can see the target away"
    I noticed this and noted that nobody seems to have told you that it is incomprehensible.
     

    taraa

    Senior Member
    Persian
    Away was originally on(prep.) + way(n.) and indirectly indicated motion or direction from a place. Directly, it was understood as not being present [at that place].
    On” gave the idea of “someone or something being in the process” Compare: He was aboard = on board; He arrived on horseback.)
    Way” gave the idea of path, road, journey, "He said goodbye and went on his way." "The way to the town led him over the mountains." (Compare “Be on your way!” = “Away with you!” = Go away!)

    I was away for the weekend. Thus gives the idea “I was on a journey for the weekend, which thus implies I was not at home for the weekend, and this is the meaning of I was away for the weekend.
    To be away = to not be in your usual place.

    If you now add “far” to I was away for the weekend, it makes no sense at all as it becomes I was not far at home for the weekend.

    PSI noticed this and noted that nobody seems to have told you that it is incomprehensible.
    Hello Paul :)
    That's interesting. Thanks a lot!
     
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