I wrote:

However, good deeds are beyond wealth.

I mean that good deeds (generosity) can be done even without money and having money isn't a requisite.

Did I use "beyond" correctly?

Update: I know my sentence is short and vague. But I meant: "to be generous you shouldn't necessarily have a lot of money", I should have used generosity.

  • Well, if you meant to say that good deeds are more important than wealth, then yes, you used it correctly. – Davyd Jan 6 '17 at 14:59
  • It's not really an idiomatic way to use beyond, though. If I read that, I would think it meant that good deeds are better than wealth or something. I think what you mean is something more like "good deeds don't require wealth." – stangdon Jan 6 '17 at 15:09

As mentioned in one of the comments, beyond as used in your example implies 'more important than', or perhaps, 'you can't place a monetary value on good deeds'.

Or to rephrase your example:

However, good deeds are more important than wealth.

If however, you are trying to get across the point that money isn't a requisite to performing a good deed, then it doesn't quite work. Perhaps, something along the lines of

However, good deeds cost nothing.

...might get the point across more clearly.

| improve this answer | |
  • Yes. My sentence is ambiguous and short. But I meant: "to be generous you shouldn't necessarily have a lot of money" – Ahmad Jan 6 '17 at 15:53

It doesn't feel quite right to compare "good deeds" to "wealth" -- it's "apples to oranges" . If anything you want to compare two abstract concepts, like "health vs. wealth" or "love vs. wealth" or "generosity vs. wealth". Or, alternately, something like: "Good deeds are more important than hard cash".

"Beyond" is fine when used in the proper context, but you probably want to say "go beyond" instead. Again, I have trouble relating "good deeds" directly to "wealth", so something like:

"Acts of simple kindness go beyond the mere accumulation of things"

Or more succinctly:

"Good deeds far surpass gold"

or even better:

"Good deeds are pure gold"

But there are already many aphorisms that express this feeling:

"And in the end / The love you take is equal to the love you make" - The Beatles

"Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see." -Mark Twain

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." - Mahatma Gandhi

| improve this answer | |
  • You are right, I tried to do a literal translation of a Persian learner to translate his sentence back to English. I explained a bit more in my question. I meant generosity, though still the sentence could be vauge. – Ahmad Jan 6 '17 at 20:21
  • 1
    @Ahmad I'm sure we have the same thoughts in both languages, we just express them differently. Plus, when writing a maxim or other short statement of moral value, you have to consider the flow and rhythm of the words to make them sound pleasing -- which means you have to pick certain words that both work in that language, and which fit the music. :) – Andrew Jan 6 '17 at 20:43

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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