8

None of those boys could be considered a good soccer player actually, but it was amazing to see how one of them could kick the ball long past the corner.

Does this phrase make any sense? I'm trying to say that the boy in question, despite not being a great soccer player (just like the other ones), was able kick the ball very hard and send it very far away.

Also: even though this are not explicitly mentioned, is the text able to make it clear that the boys were playing soccer on the street (and not in a gym, a soccer field or any other kind of "appropriate" place)?

11

"Long past" and "distant past" are usually used to discuss time, not distance. "Well past" can be used to discuss either time or distance. As Weather Vane suggests, "far past" is usually used to discuss distance, not time.

The "corners" of soccer fields are important in the game. For example, "corner kicks" often result in goals. Thus, it is not clear that the example sentence refers to a "street corner" instead of a corner of a soccer field.

  • Thank you, guys, for all the tips. – Itamar Jun 4 at 21:33
13

I don't think this is a use of the expression "long past". I think it is just the two words "long" and "past" being used consecutively.

In soccer, you will often hear people talking about playing (or kicking) the ball "long" (or "short") to distinguish controlled passes to get around enemy players from more speculative balls aiming at shifting play to a more threatening area of the pitch. This is something of a soccer idiom. For example:

They will find themselves coming short or dropping back depending on whether their role is to play the ball long or short, and defenders will also need to check their style of play to suit. (source)

In this sentence it sounds like what is meant is that he is able to kick the ball "long", so long in fact that it goes past the corner. (Since this means it goes out of play, you wouldn't really want to kick it any further.) Some people might use a comma here for clarity:

None of those boys could be considered a good soccer player actually, but it was amazing to see how one of them could kick the ball long, past the corner.

  • Hi, that was awesome. Thank you for this valuable information. – Itamar Jun 5 at 15:17
8

You used the word "far", that's also good in

... it was amazing to see how one of them could kick the ball far past the corner.

If you want to convey that the game is in the street, you can qualify "corner".

... it was amazing to see how one of them could kick the ball far past the street corner.

  • Hi, Weather. Thank you for the insights, specially for the "street corner" suggestion. – Itamar Jun 5 at 15:23
1

Is the corner itself far away from where he was standing, or did the ball keep going far beyond the corner (but the corner may be fairly close)? I'm assuming the first one. One way to stress this is:

... it was amazing to see how one of them could kick the ball all the way past the corner.

"All the way" might be considered just slightly informal. You could also use this simpler option (the comma does change the meaning):

... it was amazing to see how one of them could kick the ball far, past the corner.

  • Hi, thanks a lot for the tips, Justin, especially the one about the use of the comma - and how it changes the meaning of the phrase. – Itamar Jun 5 at 18:08

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