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As Far As

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As Far As Success

Many smart people flub the use of the subordinating conjunction as far as. Keep in mind that the expression serves as a subordinating conjunction. That is, it joins a clause. What must be in the clause to make it a clause?


A conjugated verb.

That’s the source of the flub: People leave out the necessary verb, which is often the verb is concerned.

Thus, you’ll hear people say or see people write:

As far as success, I feel sure I can make it.

In that sentence, the as far as is not a subordinating conjunction, but a preposition, the topic of the next section. Some guides allow this use in informal speech and informal writing, but I would urge you to join those who cherish the language and insist on using the expression as a subordinating conjunction:

As far as success is concerned, I feel sure I can make it.

Of course, when tempted to use the as far as expression without the required verb, you might very well want to produce the meaning of a preposition, and plenty of good ones come to mind: on, concerning, regarding, and others.

So perhaps you do mean concerning or regarding (two verb-like expressions that have transformed themselves into full-blown prepositions). If so, then say so:

Regarding success, I feel sure I can make it.


Previous:  3. Subordinating Conjunctions Next: Rule of Parallel Structure

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