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Dear all,

I would like to know the meaning of the following expression. I have seen this sentence in a book. I am unsure about the usage "by far the". I personally feel that the sentence is OK without " by far the', i.e, "He is the fastest swimmer in the class".

"He is by far the fastest swimmer in the class."

Thank you.

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by far is an idiomatic way of adding emphasis.

You can position it like this

"Tom is by far the fastest swimmer in the class."

or like this

"Tom is the fastest swimmer in the class by far."


The meaning is that the second-best swimmer is a long way behind Tom.

Clive

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'by far' says that he is much, much faster than the person who is second fastest.

Which letter is at the greatest distance from the dot on the left?

. a k g e

The letter 'e' is at the greatest distance from the dot on the left.


Which letter is at the greatest distance from the dot on the left?

. a k g e ............................. p

The letter 'p' is at by far the greatest distance from the dot on the left.
(It is obvious to everyone that 'p' is at the greatest distance. The second greatest distance (from the dot to 'e') is much, much less.)

CJ

(x-post)

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Comments  
Thanks a lot.
 CalifJim's reply was promoted to an answer.
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
CJ Sir, thanks a lot for this valuable information.