Student or Learner
I read this sentence in a newspaper article. Does it means that the nurse will get all the documents she can find? Am I right?
The nurse says she will get the documents in so far as they exist.
Also, there's the implication that the* nurse doubts their existence. The newspaper may have used in so far as to make an extra line at the bottom of a column or at the end of a paragraph. 'If' would have done just as well.
* PS Thanks to tzujimino for liking this in spite of this omission - which made the point almost incomprehensioble
Last edited by BobK; 03-Apr-2014 at 16:14. Reason: Added note
Would "so long as" too?
Let's say the nurse thinks there might be one or two documents and the person she is collecting them for thinks there are dozens, or even hundreds. By saying "so far as" she means "to the limited extent to which they exist, if they exist at all." If you say "so long as" you are saying you have real doubts about whether they exist at all, but you don't say anything about whether (if they exist) there are many or few.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.