Please imagine my friend and I are at the same place and are talking about another place which is located half a mile farther from where we are at.

In this regard, please let me know how these two sentences semantically differ and which one is (in)correct and why:

  • 1- I live half a mile from here.
  • 2- I live half a mile away from here.

I think using "away" is obligatory, but I saw the first version in a grammar book.

  • As a native speaker, I would use option 1.
    – TechnoCat
    Oct 8, 2019 at 12:56

2 Answers 2


As a native speaker, I would use option 1.

The inclusion of "away" in not obligatory and does not sound as pleasing to the ear. Although your Option 2 is semantically the same as option 1, and although there is no ambiguity about its meaning, the "away" is redundant and should not be included.

Although the "away" is not required in this sentence, there is a variant - which I will call Option 3 - in which the "away" is essential.

  • 3 - "I live half a mile away."

Note that Option 3 is subtly different from either of your options, as it does not necessarily mean "half a mile from here"; indeed, the "[from where]" can be understood only from the preceding sentence. Here are two examples.

  • "Do you live in this block? No, I live half a mile away." [from here].

  • "Did you hear the siren? "No, I live half a mile away." [from the site of the accident]

  • 1
    Thank you @TechnoCat. Hence I think "I live half a mile from here." = "I live half a mile away." Do you confirm?
    – A-friend
    Oct 8, 2019 at 14:08
  • @A-friend - Yes, those two are identical, so long as you are asked: "How far from here do you live?", in which case "I life half a mile from here" == "I live half a mile away.". However, if your colleague instead instead asks you: "Do you live near the beach?" and you answer "I live half a mile away.", this means that your house is half a mile from the beach.
    – TechnoCat
    Oct 8, 2019 at 15:05

Both versions are perfectly acceptable. If anything, version 2 is redundant, but not in a way that makes it wrong. Here are some other examples that may clarify the situation:

  • 3- I live half a mile away. (fine)
  • 4- I live half a mile. (INCORRECT)

4 is wrong because the stated distance ("half a mile") needs to connect with something. That something can be away (3), or from here (1), or both (2).

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