They managed to get as far as the Mexican border.

emre aydın

Senior Member
Turkish
Hello, I made up this sentence about two fugitives:

They managed to get as far as the Mexican border.

Does "as far as" here emphasize the bigness of the distance? Or does it emphasize the maximum point they reached? (I want it to mean the first one, so is it correct?)

Thanks for your help.
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I have to say that it would depend on the context, where they were fleeing from. If I had wanted it to mean the latter, I suppose I would have said 'they (only) managed to get (only) as far as the border".
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    They managed to get all the way to the Mexican border (before they were captured).

    Keep in mind that you don't always have to explain or emphasize things in a particular sentence. If these fugitives began in Canada and "they managed to get as far as Mexico," any reader who knows something about geography will know that they got quite a long ways.
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    They managed to get as far as the Mexican border.
    Fugitives often attempt to leave the country. They believe they will be safe once they cross the border, because it is much more difficult for US police to co-ordinate with police of another country. Here the border is their goal. "As far as" talks about reaching their goal, not the distance.

    The distance depends on where they started. The distance to the Mexican border, from inside the US, can be as short as 5 miles or as long as 2,600 miles. If you actually used this sentence, you would say where they started, so we would know the distance.

    More specifically, reaching and crossing the border is their goal. Are you saying they reached the border and crossed it, or they almost reached it but were caught before crossing it? Those are very different situations.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In short, 'as far as' doesn't contain the idea 'far'. They might have got as far as the front gate of the prison, or the city limits, before they were re-caught or they ran out of petrol.
     
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