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  1. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #1

    Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    One of my students wrote in her essay (about choosing a partner): "...The area of the choice of your soul mate has extended compared with the past."

    Putting aside the correctness of the whole serntence in terms of its 'naturalneess' for a native speaker, I would like to ask you about the use of the phrase 'by far'. Is it possible to use it in this sentence so that it would be like this:

    The area of the choice of your soul mate has by far extended compared with the past.



    By the way, does the original sentence sound natural?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    It's not natural, and it's not even comprehensible.

    I can't even understand what the original or amended sentence is trying to say. 'Area of the choice' is meaningless to me.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #3

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    Does it mean that the person is still looking for a soul mate and is widening their choice by changing their criteria?

  4. Raymott's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    What sort of soulmate would that be - a semi-soulmate?

  5. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    A so-so-mate?

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #6

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    It could mean that they have wider social circles and more chance of meeting their ideal- I missed that earlier, but the original isn't particularly clear.

  7. Skrej's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    What sort of soulmate would that be - a semi-soulmate?
    AKA 'settling' or 'lowering your standards'.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  8. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #8

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    Or getting real.

  9. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It could mean that they have wider social circles and more chance of meeting their ideal- I missed that earlier, but the original isn't particularly clear.
    Yes, she meant exactly this. In our time people have wider social circles and more chance of meeting their ideal (= the 'geography of habitat' of people's potential partners has become wider because of the new technology).
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  10. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: Can 'by far' be used with a verb?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    Does it mean that the person is still looking for a soul mate and is widening their choice by changing their criteria?
    Your later comment about 'wider social circles' is what she meant.
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

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