WOTW: distance

| - Gorka Dieitz-Sanxurxo |

triplo word of the week - distance


今週のWord of the Weekは「distance」です. “Distance” is a noun and a verb, and what you want between you and certain kind of people. It is also used in a couple of intereting phrases. Ready, let’s go!


First, let’s have a look at “distance” as a noun.


- There’s a short distance between my place and work, so I cycle every day. (The length of the space between two points.)

- What’s the distance between Tokyo and Kyoto? (as above)

- Distance feels bigger when you’re tired or hungry. (The condition of being far off; remoteness.)

- I won’t ride the bull, but I’ll watch you do it from a distance. (A far-off point.)

- I got lost in Takao, but I knew I wasn’t far from civilisation because I could hear traffic in the distance. (with the article ‘the’, the more remote part of what is visible.)


“Distance” can also be used meaning ‘time’.


- At a distance of 10 years, now I knew it was the right decision. (An interval of time.)


We can also use “distance” in horse racing or boxing contexts. If you’re interested in these more specialised uses, please check them out. We will now have a look at the verb.


- In moving to the outskirts, he wanted to distance his children from city life. (Make someone or something far off or remote.)

- Some Republicans are trying to distance themselves from Trump. (Declare that one is not connected with or a supporter of someone or something else. Notice that we say ‘distance oneself from’.)


Now, for the phrases.


- [distance lends enchantment to the view] This is a proverb and it means that things look better from further away, so we shouldn’t believe what we see from a distance.

- [go the distance] After the mending the car should go the distance. (Last for a long time.)

- [keep one's distance] Keep your distance from the horses. They might look docile, but don’t forget their wild horses. (Stay far away.)

- [keep one's distance] You can attend the meeting, but keep your distance. (Maintain one's reserve, don’t say anything.)

- [within (walking/driving/swimming…) distance] My flat is withing walking distance from the station. (Near enough to reach by the means specified.)

- [within striking distance] I was within striking distance of passing the test, but I didn’t. (Near enough to hit or achieve something.)