How would you, as a native speaker, interpret this sentence:

Luckily, the village was far from the tacky suburban developments around the city.

I came up with 2 interpretations:

  1. The village was situated far from the tacky suburban developments.
  2. The village was nothing like the tacky suburban developments.
  3. Any of the above, depending on context.

P.S. should I put 'the' or 'a' before the word 'context' in the previous sentence? Sorry, but it's not obvious for people, who's native language lacks articles.

  • 1
    You have left out the luckily, which means: It is lucky that. Carefully with luckily. It's like hopefully and often misused. to be far from something is not the same as to look nothing like something.
    – Lambie
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 19:50
  • Thank you for your answer. I left out the luckily because I have full comprehension of it's meaning.
    – Antipups Z
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 19:59
  • 1
    In 1. you simply repeat the sentence. This is not an interpretation. In 2. you state the clear inference, that the village was a much more attractive place than the tacky suburbs. It is difficult to understand the meaning in any other way. Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 20:01
  • Thank you Ronald. Sorry for being obtuse, but are you inferring that the 2nd interpretations is also a viable option? You see, the previous commenter, Lambie, inferred that only the first interpretation is correct since 'to be far from something is not the same as to look nothing like something'.
    – Antipups Z
    Commented Dec 28, 2022 at 20:12
  • I would say it's (3) - Either of the above (since there are two of them). Only the context can tell you whether it means a long way from or very different from. Commented Dec 29, 2022 at 10:16

1 Answer 1


Either interpretation could be correct. However, your first interpretation (dealing with physical distance) is a more literal interpretation of "far from" and would usually be more likely to be inferred. If you wanted the reader to understand the second meaning, then there would probably have to be some context to suggest that that was the intended meaning.

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