Question: Is it bad?
Answer: "I've suggestions but this is a long way from being bad"

What does this a long way from being mean? Does it mean "much more than just bad" or does it mean "not bad at all"?

  • 1
    Does it mean "much more than just bad"” — No, that would be "is far beyond being bad". Dec 21, 2022 at 4:16

4 Answers 4


Firstly, I am not sure whether I have suggestions can be shortened to I've suggestions, it sounds awkward, I've never heard such a statement. If you want it shortened, it'd maybe be a good idea to write it as I've got a few suggestions.

Long way from being bad means it's not bad (yet): this situation would need to get a lot worse to become bad.

The answer in your quote says that the situation is still OK.

  • I think it's just about possible to shorten: "I've a good idea" sounds OK, at least. Someone on Quora suggests "I've a" is more UK than US.
    – Stuart F
    Dec 21, 2022 at 8:22

This is in a sense of a long way from becoming, which means not at all.


to be bad
to be good
to be rich
to be poor
etc. ad nauseam

to be a long way from being bad.

The parse is not "a long way from being"

It's "a long way from being bad"

a long way = not close to

Being bad is not a good thing. Being rich can be pleasant.

Being pleasant is a long way from being rude.

  • I am puzzled at the down vote on your answer. It is correct, and pleasing to read. Apr 9, 2021 at 0:02
  • @EllieKesselman It's because it is not high falutin' enough for this forum and straight to the point. Also, the question is not really suited for this site. I parse texts for a living and some people resent that. :)
    – Lambie
    Apr 9, 2021 at 13:36

Although one needs more context to answer with assurance, I can imagine the conversation going like this:

Alice says: "Here's what I plan to do."

Alice outlines a plan, then asks: "Is it bad?"

Barb says: "I have some suggestions, but it's a long way from being bad."

Clearly, the meaning of Barb's reply is neither "it's worse than bad" nor "not bad at all", but somewhere in between.

"It's a long way from being bad" appears to be analogous to "It sure fails to suck" or to "No way is that plan a total fail!"

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