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What is the meaning of the expression or phrase "get as far as doing something"? For example, what does it mean in this sentence?

They had got as far as painting the kitchen.

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Please stop adding "thank you" into your post--ELU isn't like a regular forum –  simchona Jan 29 '13 at 22:39
    
I thought this was just a question of good manners. –  user36663 Jan 29 '13 at 23:04
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While thanking someone is good manners, on ELU (and all sites on SE), it's considered unnecessary and always deleted out –  simchona Jan 29 '13 at 23:23
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I didn't know that. Now I'm aware of it:) –  user36663 Jan 29 '13 at 23:30
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@BlessedGeek: We're all about "tough love" here. –  Robusto Jan 30 '13 at 1:43
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2 Answers

It means they have not finished some larger task (such as remodeling the entire house), but only reached the milestone of painting the kitchen

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Its use depends on the mood.

hyper

Our journey had been unbelievable. We had never expected to collect any gold medals, but we got as far as collecting 5 gold medals and a couple of bronzes.

hypo

It was somewhat embarrassing. Even the ride-the-bus-half-price veterans had made it all the way to mile 10, but we did get as far as mile 7. Rather, we only managed to go as far as mile 7.

expected

It was a case of dishonest misrepresentation. We were told that we only had to carry the mattress two blocks to have it exchanged in their nearest other outlet. But, we had to go as far as five blocks.

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