Is It Correct to Say “Thus Far”?

Marcus Froland

Language is a tricky beast. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, it throws a curveball your way. You’re cruising along, confident in your grasp of grammar and vocabulary, and then—wham!—you run into a phrase like “thus far.” It sounds old-timey, doesn’t it? Something about it seems to echo from the pages of dusty books and historical dramas. But here’s the kicker: people are still using it today. In emails. In meetings. Even in casual conversation.

You might wonder how such a phrase has managed to stick around in our fast-paced, emoji-filled world. Is it clinging to relevance by its fingernails, or does it actually have a solid place in modern English? This isn’t just about two words; it’s about how language evolves yet holds onto its roots like an ancient tree that refuses to let go of the earth. And just when you’re ready to dismiss “thus far” as an archaic relic, you’ll find there’s more to this story than meets the eye.

When talking about how much progress has been made or what has happened up to this point, saying “thus far” is perfectly correct. It’s a formal way to express that something has reached a certain level or extent until now. This phrase is common in written English and in more formal speaking situations. You might find it used in reports, presentations, or when someone wants to sound polished and professional. Remember, while “thus far” fits well in some contexts, in everyday conversation, people often use simpler terms like “so far” or “up to now.” So, depending on the setting, choose the phrase that best matches the tone you’re aiming for.

Exploring the Meaning of “Thus Far” in American English

The phrase thus far holds a specific place in the American English lexicon, particularly when discussing progress. Serving as an adverbial phrase, “thus far” communicates the status of a situation or event up to the present moment while also implying that there is more to come. As such, it sets a checkpoint in progress, allowing for an effective evaluation of efforts and results. In comprehending the many nuances of this phrase, speakers are better equipped to use it in a variety of contexts.

Defining the Phrase Within the Context of Progress

Central to the phrase meaning of “thus far” is its relationship with progress and time. When utilized in a sentence, “thus far” updates the listener or reader on the present status of an ongoing event, activity, or timeline. By doing so, it also indicates that further developments are anticipated, whether expressly stated or merely inferred. This language nuance allows for broader interpretation and usage across various forms of communication.

Interpreting “Thus Far” in Different Scenarios

Given its inherent versatility, “thus far” can be employed in various scenarios with diverse intents. In each instance, the phrase’s core meaning remains consistent—conveying the state of affairs up to the present moment and the expectation of future progress. Some examples include:

  • Waiting for an event to occur, such as a phone call or the outcome of a decision: “I have yet to receive the call thus far.”
  • Enumerating achievements or results, like the number of signatures collected for a petition: “We have collected 500 signatures thus far.”
  • Communicating the extent of progress made, such as in a project or task: “We have completed 70% of the project thus far.”

Despite its traditionally formal connotation, “thus far” can also be used in casual situations. Here, the phrase serves a similar function, emphasizing the present status while also signaling expectations for what may transpire in the future. As such, “thus far” showcases adaptability in various interpersonal contexts, leveraging its association with progress to deliver a sense of anticipation or curiosity.

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The Grammatical Correctness of “Thus Far”

In understanding the grammatical structure of the English language, it is important to recognize how adverbial phrases like “thus far” function to convey meaning and maintain correctness. As an adverbial phrase, “thus far” plays a crucial role in adding depth and context to sentences, particularly in expressing progress or events relative to time.

Unlike conjunctions that serve to connect words or clauses, “thus far” is a modifying phrase that conveys the subtle context of expectations or the anticipation of future developments. Using it in the correct context ensures that your sentences are both meaningful and grammatically sound. Some key points to remember include:

  1. “Thus far” is an adverbial phrase, not a conjunction.
  2. Its primary function is to describe progress or events relative to time.
  3. Appropriate usage is linked to the anticipation or expectation of future developments.

For example, the sentence, “Our team has achieved 80% of its targets thus far,” succinctly conveys the team’s performance up to the present time, with an implied expectation of reaching 100%.

In summary, “thus far” is a valid and grammatically correct adverbial phrase within the English language. Incorporating it appropriately in your writing will not only contribute to the precision and richness of your communication but also showcase your mastery of English grammar.

How and When to Use “Thus Far” in Communication

Using the phrase “thus far” effectively can contribute to delivering a strong and precise message, particularly in formal settings. In this section, we will discuss the appropriate use of “thus far” as a formal expression, explore common contexts where this term can be applied, and guide you through choosing between “thus far” and “so far” in different situations.

“Thus Far” as a Formal Expression

Thus far is a fitting term for formal contexts, such as academic writing or business presentations, where a proper communication tone is essential. Using “thus far” in conjunction with the communicative context can lend a sense of professionalism and gravity to the subject matter at hand. When discussing formal topics, or when the general tone of the conversation calls for sophistication, this phrase proves exceptionally useful.

Common Contexts for Using the Term

Some common settings and scenarios where “thus far” can be employed include academic analysis, formal presentations, and historical texts. It is particularly suitable when discussing results, conclusions, or the state of knowledge on a topic. For example:

“The historical research on this event thus far has provided little evidence to support the claim.”

As illustrated above, using “thus far” helps to convey that additional information or developments may follow, enhancing the professionalism of the communication.

Choosing Between “Thus Far” and “So Far”

While “thus far” and “so far” are largely interchangeable in meaning, their appropriateness depends primarily on the formality of the context. Generally, “thus far” is reserved for more formal or scholarly settings, whereas “so far” is seen as less formal and better suited for casual conversation. Recognizing the tone and expectations of your audience will guide your choice between these terms. Below is a comparison to illustrate the different tones that these phrases can convey:

  1. Thus far: “The project has been successful thus far, but we continue to monitor its development closely.”
  2. So far: “I have enjoyed this trip so far, and I look forward to the remaining days.”
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As demonstrated by these examples, using either “thus far” or “so far” effectively can help align your communication with the expectations and tone of your audience. By mastering the appropriate use of these phrases, you can enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your speech and writing.

Illustrating “Thus Far” with Sentence Examples

Understanding the correct way to use the phrase “thus far” in a sentence is essential for clear communication. Effective application of the term typically involves placing it before or after the subject matter, effectively highlighting progress or the lack thereof. To better illustrate its usage, let’s examine some practical examples of how “thus far” can convey the status of something within the sentence structure:

  1. Thus far, we have raised $5,000 for the charity event.
  2. Our team has completed six projects thus far.
  3. Thus far, no conclusive evidence has been found in the investigation.
  4. Despite their diligent efforts, they have failed to reach an agreement thus far.

In each of these examples, “thus far” is employed to convey a sense of progress or its absence, while also subtly suggesting that continued activity, results, or developments might occur in the future. These practical illustrations shed light on the versatility of the phrase and its uses to communicate the status of something in a sentence.

“Thus far”, the most recent movie in the franchise has not disappointed fans, receiving critical acclaim and impressive box office numbers.

Note that in the above example, the phrase is used to describe the current status or performance of the movie, with an implicit anticipation of future events or reactions. By grasping the nuances and proper placement of “thus far” in varied sentence structures, you can more effectively express the ongoing nature of events and activities.

The Usage of “Thus Far” in Literary Works

With its historical roots and rich literary connections, the phrase “thus far” holds an indispensable position in the English language. It has been widely adopted in various works of literature, where it is skillfully employed to denote progress and convey the essence of events as they unfold.

One of the most prominent examples of its usage stems from the works of the legendary playwright William Shakespeare, whose linguistic innovations have left an indelible impact on the English language.

Historic References in Shakespeare’s Plays

In his timeless plays, Shakespeare often used “thus far” to emphasize the progression of events, indicating the current state or accomplishments at different moments within the narrative. One such example is found in his famous historical play, Henry V, which showcases Shakespeare’s prowess in combining language and drama.

Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,
Our bending author hath pursued the story,
In little room confining mighty men,
Mangling, by starts, the full course of their glory.

In this excerpt, “thus far” highlights the progress made by the author in recounting the story of the legendary king. Additionally, the phrase reflects the limitations that restrict the author from fully capturing the grandeur of the historical figure.

Besides Henry V, Shakespeare’s use of “thus far” can also be observed in other plays, such as Coriolanus and Titus Andronicus. By skillfully incorporating “thus far” in his dialogues and narrative, the famed playwright significantly contributed to the phrase’s popularity as well as its enduring relevance in contemporary literature.

  • Coriolanus: And he, no less than a tall man to-day…Thus far, the most.
  • Titus Andronicus: Now is our meeting like that of doves, Chased from their firesides by the wretched winter…We have pursued the city thus far.
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It is evident that the phrase “thus far” has enjoyed both historical and literary significance, thanks in part to its usage in the works of brilliant writers like Shakespeare. Today, the phrase continues to be employed in various forms of writing, serving as an effective means of emphasizing time and progress within any narrative or discourse.

Alternative Phrases to “Thus Far” and Their Contexts

Despite the clarity and formality of “thus far” as an adverbial phrase, you may want to explore alternative phrasings for linguistic variety in your writing. Fortunately, numerous synonyms express similar meanings and can be chosen based on context, tone, and desired level of formality. Integrating these alternatives into your writing and speech can enhance your communication skill set and allow you to convey your intended message with precision.

  1. So far: An informal alternative to “thus far,” often used in casual conversation.
  2. Hitherto: A somewhat old-fashioned term, meaning “up to this point in time,” appropriate for formal or historical texts.
  3. Heretofore: Another formal alternative, particularly suitable for legal or contractual documents.
  4. Up until now: A more neutral phrase that can be used in various contexts depending on the tone of the surrounding text.
  5. To date: A straightforward expression, frequently used to describe progress or achievements over time.

While all these phrases broadly convey the same idea as “thus far,” it is essential to recognize the subtle differences and connotations in their usage. To effectively select and implement these alternatives, consider the overall tone, objective, and audience of your communication for optimal results.

“We have collected hitherto 500 signatures for the petition.” (formal)

“I finished reading three books so far this month.” (informal)

The effective use of synonyms and alternatives for the phrase “thus far” can improve the versatility and depth of your writing or speech, making it more engaging and precise. By understanding the meanings and contextual applications of these alternative phrases, you can confidently communicate your intended messages while catering to your intended audience’s expectations and preferences.

Understanding “Thus Far” Versus “This Far”

When it comes to differentiating between “this far” and “thus far,” it is essential to understand the nuances in their meanings and usage. Though the two phrases seem similar, they carry unique connotations that impact how they can be used in speech and writing. Keeping these differences in mind will help you communicate more accurately and enhance clarity.

Connotations and Usage in Speech and Writing

“This far” typically refers to a physical distance or the degree of accomplishment, whereas “thus far” indicates temporal progress in a process or story. For example, when discussing progress made in a project, “thus far” would be more appropriate to use as it conveys the temporal aspect. Conversely, if you want to highlight how far you have come in terms of personal growth or the distance covered in a race, “this far” is the better choice.

By understanding the subtle distinctions between the phrases “this far” and “thus far,” you can select the most appropriate term for your specific context while ensuring an accurate and polished communication style. Ultimately, paying close attention to the connotations and usage of these phrases will help you improve the overall quality of your verbal and written expressions.

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