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  1. #1
    princeot is offline Newbie
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    Default Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    I recently came through this line while watching T.V.
    "STILL HAVE A WAYS TO GO"
    Is that sentence correct??
    Shouldn't it be STILL HAVE A WAY TO GO?

    What is the difference between these two lines??

    'A' is referred for singular tense right?
    'WAYS' is plural.

    HOW

  2. #2
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    Quote Originally Posted by princeot View Post
    I recently came through this line while watching T.V.
    "STILL HAVE A WAYS TO GO"
    Is that sentence correct??
    Shouldn't it be STILL HAVE A WAY TO GO?

    What is the difference between these two lines??

    'A' is referred for singular tense right?
    'WAYS' is plural.

    HOW
    I have only heard "to have a ways to go" in AmE. It's not used in BrE. We would say "to have a long way to go". Perhaps one of our American friends has some idea where "a ways" came from.

    You're right that it doesn't make sense logically, though. "Ways" appears to be plural, so wouldn't normally be preceded by "a".

  3. #3
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    Is it the influece of "means" perhaps?

  4. #4
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    No, it's just colloquial for a long way. It probably arises out of a genitive, "a way's journey" or some such shortened phrase. Now it is indeed written "ways." I would compare it to the difference between toward and towards. I don't think there is much of one.

  5. #5
    princeot is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    So will it be okay to use 'A WAYS TO GO' while in a conversation

    or is it better to use 'A WAY TO GO'

  6. #6
    princeot is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    i'm sorry.
    i didn't get you on AmE and BrE
    what is the meaning of it?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    Quote Originally Posted by princeot View Post
    i'm sorry.
    i didn't get you on AmE and BrE
    what is the meaning of it?
    AmE= American English. BrE= British English.

  8. #8
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    As is generally the case, this saying doesn't have to make sense. From my understanding (As an American), if I have a way to go - I have one possible option. I can take Route #95 north - I have a way to go and that is on Route #95. If I say, "I have a ways to go", then I am saying that I have not completed something. For example, to obtain a driver's license, I have to learn how to steer, how to brake, how to turn, and more. I have many tasks before I can get the license.
    Then it's definitely a BrE vs AmE difference.

    If I said "I've got a way to go" or something similar, it would have multiple meanings. It could mean I still have a long way to travel. It could mean I have a lot of studying to do before I'm ready to take an exam. It could mean I still have a lot of weight to lose before reaching my target weight.

    You get the picture!

    I would say that the simplest thing to say here is that we just don't say "a ways to go" in BrE at all.

  9. #9
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I have only heard "to have a ways to go" in AmE. It's not used in BrE. We would say "to have a long way to go". Perhaps one of our American friends has some idea where "a ways" came from.

    You're right that it doesn't make sense logically, though. "Ways" appears to be plural, so wouldn't normally be preceded by "a".
    I'm pretty sure it's not a plural, but a remnant of some sort of genitive suffix. Kind of like Bob Dylan's a-changing which reminds me of Chaucer's "y-told."

    When you grow up here, you don't think of "a ways to go" as a plural, just a sort of cute nickname for a distance. Again, I point to "toward" vs "towards," which are the same, without the s-version signifying a plural.

    It makes me think of a day's journey, a week's travel, etc.

  10. #10
    princeot is offline Newbie
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    Smile Re: Still Have 'A WAYS' to go

    hmmm........Got the point.
    thanx y'all

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