I was reading a novel and I think, there is a mistake, they missed an article as per me but I am not sure yet, so putting this here.

In the book, it has been written:

Destiny, it is way over the horizon.

As per me, it should be:

Destiny, it is a/the way over the horizon.

My point is that, way is a countable noun and singular as well so an article should be there.

  • 2
    Read this way as far. Feb 15, 2014 at 12:00
  • 5
    As per me? - In my opinion.
    – Maulik V
    Feb 15, 2014 at 12:01
  • 2
    Nope. In this context, way is not even a noun. Methinks your theory was way off.
    – J.R.
    Feb 15, 2014 at 21:36

4 Answers 4


It is not a mistake. In this usage, way is an adverb rather than a noun. The adverb way means "far", "at a great distance", etc.

  • I wonder - if the phrase were structured with a full verb instead of BE, say, "Destiny... it hovers way over the horison", would that be grammatical. Feb 15, 2014 at 17:59
  • 1
    @CopperKettle Yes.
    – Boann
    Feb 15, 2014 at 18:02
  • 1
    In English, the be verb is pretty much a real verb, unlike in some languages, like Japanese. Feb 15, 2014 at 21:12
  • I think it's way too simplistic and misleading to baldly say way means "far", "at a great distance". Those are reasonable paraphrasings in the specific context of "over the horizon", but more generally it would be better to say it's an intensifier with the sense of very [much], excessively, a great deal. Sure, it's a "distance-based" figurative usage, but those origins are pretty distant in common usages today such as "He's way smarter than me". Feb 16, 2014 at 0:03
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    @Mark: All (or nearly all) language use is metaphoric. By the time it gets to words like currency we barely register even the flowing current, let alone the underlying to run. And that's just nouns and verbs, which are relatively stable since they reference identifiable things and actions. Prepositions, adverbs, and the like slip and slide around all the time, since all they do most of the time is glue the important words together. Feb 16, 2014 at 1:15

You read it this way -

Destiny, it's [way] over the horizon.

Though informal, way-over something means at a considerable distance/degree.

Read the 40th point here.

  • 1
    I think way over usually has no dash inside. Feb 15, 2014 at 12:03
  • Yes, you are right but I think, Publisher should have put it in a right way. it should be "way-over" in the book.
    – user62015
    Feb 15, 2014 at 12:05
  • @user62015 DamkerngT. is right; way-over is not an English expression, and does not conform to any standard template for constructing expressions. Feb 15, 2014 at 17:38
  • I disagree with the way you've "deconstructed" the elements. It should be Destiny, it's [way] over the horizon. The actual word way really just functions as an [optional] intensifier, as in "Does my bum look [way] too big in this?" Feb 15, 2014 at 23:52
  • @FumbleFingers corrected. I just wanted to describe that way over means intense or more in degree or distance.
    – Maulik V
    Feb 16, 2014 at 7:48

The sentence is poorly phrased. It should be more like:

Destiny... It is way over the horizon.

The use/abuse of the comma is confusing, and kind of inexcusable in this case.

[edit] Also, as others have said, "way over" as a measure of distance makes a lot more sense than trying to use "way" as a verb.

  • I agree - but this doesn't address OP's question. Feb 15, 2014 at 17:35
  • 1
    What book is the quote from? I'd be very careful about dubbing something "poorly phrased" until I knew more about its full context. I'll bet some mighty good authors penned some "poorly phrased" stuff – particularly if we only look at a 7-word excerpt.
    – J.R.
    Feb 15, 2014 at 21:39

Basically you shouldn't have an article here. The sentence:

Destiny, it is way over the horizon.

means the same thing as:

Destiny, it is far over the horizon.

But saying:

Destiny, it is a/the way over the horizon.

means that destiny is a/the means to find your way over the horizon. That's probably not what the book meant. What they probably meant was that destiny is very far away, even being past the horizon. Hence they could easily just say:

Detinity, it is far over the horizon.

Here, whether you use the word "way" or the word "far", it means the same thing, and neither word acts as a noun in this case.

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