1. Key Member
Join Date
Nov 2003
Posts
2,671

## Re: at, in etc.

Dear Mike,

My English teacher corrected me by saying 'long way away' isn't correct because way can't modify time. This coincided with the key I came across in anther exercise book.Could you please explain if he is right or not? To remind you of the question I am quoting it here:

The construction of the dam is already _________. But its completion is still a long way_________.
a. in progress, away b. under way, off
According to the teacher only 'b' is correct.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Jiang

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Jiang
Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
We pay our rent at the beginning of every month.
According to the dictionary I can replace 'at' in this sentence with 'in' and 'from'. Then how can distinguish this use with 'at the beginning', in the beginning' and 'from the beginning' that you explained? In other words, can I use 'in' and 'from' in the sentence 'It will be ready at the beginnig of next week?

The sentence would be OK with "in", since there is often a ten-day grace period for rent. At the beginning is at a point, on or near the first. "In the beginning refers to a time period. "From" will not work, however.

In your other one, I would accept either option, though I prefer the second.

2. ## Re: at, in etc.

Originally Posted by jiang
Dear Mike,

My English teacher corrected me by saying 'long way away' isn't correct because way can't modify time. This coincided with the key I came across in anther exercise book.Could you please explain if he is right or not? To remind you of the question I am quoting it here:

The construction of the dam is already _________. But its completion is still a long way_________.
a. in progress, away b. under way, off
According to the teacher only 'b' is correct.

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Jiang

Looking forward to hearing from you.
Jiang
If time can't be "away", how can it be "off"?

We deal with time in two ways, literally and figuratively. When we look at it figuratively, it is as if we are standing on a long road. The past is behind us and the future is in front of us. We apply terms of distance, length, proximity, etc. to time as if it were stops on the road. If a point in time can be off in the distance, it can certainly be far away. We use terms such as "in the distant future", "a long time ago", "in the near future", "a short time ago", etc.

3. Key Member
Join Date
Nov 2003
Posts
2,671

## Re: at, in etc.

Dear Mike,

Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.
Jiang
Originally Posted by MikeNewYork
If time can't be "away", how can it be "off"?

We deal with time in two ways, literally and figuratively. When we look at it figuratively, it is as if we are standing on a long road. The past is behind us and the future is in front of us. We apply terms of distance, length, proximity, etc. to time as if it were stops on the road. If a point in time can be off in the distance, it can certainly be far away. We use terms such as "in the distant future", "a long time ago", "in the near future", "a short time ago", etc.

4. ## Re: at, in etc.

Originally Posted by jiang

Dear Mike,

Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.
Jiang
You're welcome.

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