1

I am composing a poem and have something like this

Even if/though it is thousand miles far, we can still share the one.

in mind, which I want to express it more poetically as

Let thousand miles alone,
Can we still share the one.

It kinda makes sense to me. But I am not sure whether it also makes the same sense to others. Is this use of the phrase let alone correct?

Note that I am aware of two questions regarding the phrase let alone here, but neither of them addresses my issue.

closed as primarily opinion-based by Kris, Brian Hooper, p.s.w.g, phenry, MrHen Jan 21 '14 at 15:08

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • I feel "let alone" should not be split. – mplungjan Jan 17 '14 at 8:19
  • 1
    If you need further help, try asking on English Language Learners – Kris Jan 17 '14 at 8:21
  • 1
    @mplungjan: It can, as in "let me alone" and "let the dog alone". – day Jan 17 '14 at 8:39
  • 1
    Poetry puts you in control; you can break up pairs of words at will. However, it will not always result in a good poem. Leave me alone can be said as let me alone (though it is quaint), but let alone means something different, and should be regarded as joined at the hip. – anongoodnurse Jan 17 '14 at 9:24
  • 2
    @Kris - I've seen much more basic questions on EL&U that were not sent to ELL but should have been. I think this is a good Q for us, and Susan gave a good A. – Martin F Jan 17 '14 at 15:44
3

Let alone someone or something means something very different than let someone or something alone (also stated more commonly as leave something alone).

Let alone means to say nothing of/not to mention, and is used especially to emphasize the improbability of a contrasting example (the someone or something in the above example). let alone is used as an inseparable pair.

I can't remember the title of the book we were supposed to read, let alone the details of the story.
We haven't got the money to stay in a seedy motel, let alone a stay at the Ritz.

Synonyms for let alone are also word-pairs (or more): much less, never mind, still less, not to mention. These should also be kept together.

Let (x) alone means to avoid touching, bothering, or communicating with someone or something (such as interrupting).

Now therefore let me alone, that my wrath may burn hot against them and I may consume them, in order that I may make a great nation of you.
If those gentlemen would let me alone I should be much obliged to them.

If you get the impression that let (someone) alone is a more formal usage, it's because it's been replaced in more modern language by leave (x) alone.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.