go far: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘go far’ mean?

The idiom "go far" means to achieve great success or make significant progress in one's endeavors or career.

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The idiom "go far" is commonly used in English language and has a variety of meanings and interpretations. It can convey notions of success, ambition, progress, and distance. The idiom is well-established and widely understood in the United States, where it is frequently used in both formal and informal conversations.

One of the primary meanings of the idiom "go far" is to achieve great success or make significant progress in a particular endeavor. It implies that an individual has the potential or ability to excel. For example, "He is a talented artist who is sure to go far in his career" or "If you work hard and stay focused, you will go far in life."

The idiom can also express the idea of making a considerable impact or reaching a significant level of influence. It suggests that one's actions, ideas, or contributions have the potential to create lasting effects or be widely recognized. It can be used to describe someone who has made a lasting impression in their field or has become highly regarded in their community. For example, "Her groundbreaking research has made her go far in the field of medicine" or "His leadership skills have enabled him to go far in his political career."

Additionally, the idiom "go far" can be used in a more literal sense to refer to physical distance. It implies the idea of traveling a great distance, often relating to journeys or expeditions. This interpretation can be seen in phrases like "The hikers went far into the wilderness, exploring remote regions of the national park" or "We need a car that can go far without needing to refuel."

It is worth noting that the idiom "go far" can also have a negative connotation, depending on the context in which it is used. In some cases, it may imply that someone is using unethical or unscrupulous means to achieve their goals, sacrificing their integrity or values along the way. This negative interpretation can be seen in phrases such as "He is willing to go far to get what he wants, even if it means stepping on others" or "Her relentless pursuit of success has led her to go far, but at a cost."

The idiom "go a long way" is closely related to "go far" and shares a similar meaning. It signifies the idea of making significant progress or achieving notable success. It is often used to describe someone who has come a long way in their career by overcoming challenges and obstacles. For example, "Despite starting with limited resources, she has gone a long way in building her business" or "His hard work and dedication have taken him a long way in his profession." The phrase "go a long way" emphasizes the distance covered in one's journey towards success and highlights the perseverance and determination required to reach that point.

Another related idiom is "go places," which signifies the idea of experiencing success, recognition, or advancement in one's life or career. It suggests that someone has the potential or ability to achieve great things and make significant progress. For example, "With her talent and perseverance, she is destined to go places in her field" or "His exceptional skills and dedication will take him places." The phrase "go places" emphasizes the upward trajectory and future prospects of an individual, indicating their potential for achieving significant milestones and reaching new heights of success.

Similarly, the idiom "go so far as" denotes the extent to which someone is willing to go or the measures they are willing to take to achieve a certain goal. It highlights the determination, commitment, or sacrifices that someone is prepared to make. For example, "He is willing to go so far as to work weekends and late nights to meet his deadlines" or "She will go so far as to relocate for a job opportunity." The phrase "go so far as" emphasizes the lengths to which someone is willing to go and showcases their determination and dedication.

On the other hand, the idiom "go all the way" signifies the idea of fully committing to something or pursuing it to its ultimate conclusion. It can be used to describe someone who is dedicated to achieving a specific goal or outcome and does not give up until they have reached it. For example, "He is determined to go all the way and win the championship" or "She is committed to going all the way to complete her education." The phrase "go all the way" emphasizes the strong determination and unwavering commitment of an individual in pursuing their objectives.

A related idiom is "come a long way," which signifies the progress or growth that someone has made over time. It is used to describe individuals or things that have developed, improved, or changed significantly since their inception or starting point. For example, "The company has come a long way since its humble beginnings" or "She has come a long way in her career and achieved great success." The phrase "come a long way" emphasizes the distance traveled or the advancements made and highlights the significant progress achieved over time.

Overall, the idiom "go far" encompasses a range of meanings, including achieving success, making an impact, traveling a significant distance, and potentially engaging in questionable tactics. Its versatility allows it to be used in various situations, making it a common and well-understood idiom in American English. While the precise origins of the idiom are unclear, it has become deeply embedded in the language and continues to be used by native speakers in a variety of contexts.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom "go far" can be used in a sentence:

  1. I believe that with hard work and determination, she will go far in her career.
  2. If you save money from an early age, it can go far in helping you achieve financial stability.
  3. His exceptional skills and natural talents enabled him to go far in the world of music.

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