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The library is far.

The library is far away.

I was told that far and far away are both fine and express the same meaning in the above sentences. But, I was told that only far away can be used in the following sentence (far is wrong).

On top of the mountain, I can see things far away.

*On top of the mountain, I can see things far.

Why? I haven't got a good explanation.

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@JLG: Maybe, or maybe I misread. Deleted anyway. –  Barrie England Apr 9 '12 at 16:24

2 Answers 2

Far away indicates something or someone that is far from something else, and implies two points, a here, and a 'there' being referred to. Far however is more general and can be used in more cases e.g. "he went far in his studies"

Your latter example is also grammatically wrong.

On top of the mountain, I can see things far away.

On top of the mountain, I can see things needs a word here far.

e.g. that are quite but there are many other sentences that would make much more sense grammatically, and meaningfully.

I'd also suggest an additional word in the first sentence too, e.g.

I can see things that are far away.

There is also a better sentence involving far:

On top of the mountain, I can see far.

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Thank you, Tom J Nowell for your answer. Thank you, the other friends. I agree. The sentence "on top of the moutain, I can see things far” is grammatically wrong. But why is it wrong? My personal analysis is like this: Let's first see another two sentences: I can kick the soccer ball far. I can see the soccer ball far away. I think both of them are correct grammatically. Because both "far" and 'far away' modify the verb 'kick'. If we divide these sentences, we can do this way: I can kick the soccer ball / far. I can kick the soccer ball / far away.

Then let's see sentences with similar structure on the surface: *I can see the soccer ball far. I can see the soccer ball far away. I think the first is wrong, but the second is correct. Because "far" and 'far away' modify the "soccer ball", not the verb "see". If we divide them, it should be like this: I can see / the soccer ball far. I can see / the soccer ball far away.

I think we should say "the far soccer ball", not the 'the soccer ball far', whereas we can say "the soccer ball far away" or "the far-away soccer ball".

What do you think?

Thanks.

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