I have heard people saying these two phrases, do they have any difference from each other?

For example

I have accomplished a lot across the year.


I have accomplished a lot throughout the year.

Is there any difference, or is either wrong?

  • Your example for "across" is not great.
    – Lambie
    Jun 21, 2022 at 14:42
  • 2
    I'd say 'across the year' hints strongly at sporadic events etc, whereas 'throughout the year' speaks more of consistent results. But this is opinion, and I doubt I'll easily find supporting evidence I can use to justify an 'answer'. You can check individual examples to see if my suggested rule-of-thumb seems to apply. As (I think) Lambie says, 'across my lifetime / several years' are probably more idiomatic. Jun 21, 2022 at 14:46
  • Thank you @EdwinAshworth
    – Lucas
    Jun 21, 2022 at 16:25
  • I'd use across to paint a crossing from A to B, one year to the next, not across itself. Jun 21, 2022 at 16:26

2 Answers 2


For USA standard English speech and writing, "across the year" is unusual and uncommon, although it is understandable as a phrase referring to a one-year time period (a calendar year or the previous 12 months). These phrases are much more common:

I have accomplished a lot over the course of the year.

I have accomplished a lot during the year.

I have accomplished a lot throughout the year.

I have accomplished a lot this year.

I have accomplished a lot in the last year

  • What does "unusual and uncommon" mean? Are there native speakers that use that?
    – Laurel
    Jun 21, 2022 at 16:09
  • @Laurel regarding if native speakers use that here on this link: youglish.com/pronounce/across%20the%20year/english? Youglish has found around 1000 usages on youtube (most of them sound native to me but they are not all Americans), Maybe the example I used on the question was not the best
    – Lucas
    Jun 21, 2022 at 16:21
  • Thank you for the answer
    – Lucas
    Jun 21, 2022 at 16:25
  • @Lucas You should add that link to your question :)
    – Laurel
    Jun 21, 2022 at 16:48
  • 1
    When I said "unusual and uncommon", I meant that I would not use that phrase and I haven't hear native speakers use it. "Across" is just not used with time duration, although there are always exceptions.
    – user8356
    Jun 21, 2022 at 19:52

The "across" version is quite unusual, and the "throughout" version sounds a bit stilted. The most common way of expressing this (I'm imagining an annual performance review):

I've accomplished a lot this year.

If the context doesn't make clear that this refers to the past twelve months, one could also say

I've accomplished a lot this past year.

My answer holds for US English -- I can't vouch for other flavors.

I checked the link you provided in a comment. The speaker's context is quite different from "I accomplished a lot [preposition] [time period]." In the TED talk, the speaker was talking about the calendar, the months of the year. "Across the year" makes sense in that context. We can see the months ticking by as we go along the timeline. In that context, "across" is probably better than "throughout," because "throughout" suggests that something is constant, or fairly constant, for all 365 days.

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