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I recently found a chart listing the distinctions between the two conjunctions. But I am not really able to make much sense of this chart. I would gladly appreciate if anyone could make the distinction between these two words.

Source: aprendeinglesenleganes.com Inasmuch as vs Insofar as

Inasmuch as:

Inasmuch as conjunction (formal)

Synonyms: seeing that, since

Syntax Formula: Inasmuch as+fact

Meaning: used to explain the way in which what you are saying is true

Examples:

  1. He was a very rather unusual musician inasmuch as he was totally deaf.

  2. Ann is guilty, inasmuch as she knew what the others were planning.

  3. They're rather similar, inasmuch as they are the same size and colour.

Insofar as:

Insofar as conjunction (formal)

Synonyms: as long as/ only if

Syntax Formula: Insofar as+ quantifiable fact (sth happens to a certain extent)

Meaning: to the degree that

Examples:

  1. She cites other scholars' works only insofar as it supports her own theories.

  2. The news is good insofar as it suggests that a solution may be possible

  3. Looking back helps insofar as it helps you learn from your mistakes.

3 Answers 3

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You may think of inasmuch as as loosely equivalent to "given that," while insofar is approximately the same as "as long as."

You won't hear these much in conversation. And I often go a whole year or more without coming across either one even in formal writing.

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insofar is conditional on a future or unknown variable: if A, then B inasmuch is conditional on a past or known variable: Since A, then B

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Inasmuch as certainly has an overlap in meaning with insofar as:

  • inasmuch ... Phrases

inasmuch as [also in as much as]

1 To the extent that; insofar as.

The two hurricanes are definitely going to have an impact on home prices inasmuch as they're going to impact the availability of building materials and the availability of labor.

I'm game to try and explain it, inasmuch as I can.

1.1 Considering that; since (used to specify the respect in which a statement is true or untrue)

it was not really a still life inasmuch as all the objects were in motion

Breaking our addiction to foreign oil is one of the reasons commonly advanced in support of ANWR drilling, inasmuch as Alaska is part of the United States.

[Lexico; adjusted]

  • inasmuch as [conjunction] [formal]

    used to introduce a phrase that explains (a) why or (b) how much something described in another part of the sentence is true:

Inasmuch as you are their commanding officer, you are responsible for the behaviour of these men.

[Cambridge Dictionary; slightly adjusted]

Here, obviously, the 'because', 'considering that', rather than the 'to the extent that' sense must be inferred. "Am I their commanding officer? Well, a bit." is Cleesian.

...........................

However, insofar as only carries the 'to the extent / degree that' of the two senses listed for 'inasmuch as':

  • insofar as [conjunction]:

to the extent or degree that

we agree only insofar as the budget is concerned

She had done her best to comfort him, insofar as she was able.

[Merriam-Webster]; last example [Cambridge Dictionary]

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