There should be an article (A or The)



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.


Posted 2014-02-15T11:55:06.157

Reputation: 3 999

2Read this way as far. – Damkerng T. – 2014-02-15T12:00:51.773

5As per me? - In my opinion. – Maulik V – 2014-02-15T12:01:29.823

2Nope. In this context, way is not even a noun. Methinks your theory was way off. – J.R. – 2014-02-15T21:36:43.807



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.


Posted 2014-02-15T11:55:06.157

Reputation: 580

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. – CowperKettle – 2014-02-15T17:59:39.407

1@CopperKettle Yes. – Boann – 2014-02-15T18:02:14.663

1In English, the be verb is pretty much a real verb, unlike in some languages, like Japanese. – Panzercrisis – 2014-02-15T21:12:26.063

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". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2014-02-16T00:03:16.707

@FumbleFingers "She's far smarter than me." is just fine. But there is certainly a difference between the two cases as "She is much smarter than me" is okay but "it is much over the horizon" is not. – Mark S. – 2014-02-16T00:34:46.463

@Mark: I think that's just hair-splitting over the fact that certain combinations don't sound "idiomatic". In OP's context we can directly replace over the horizon with distant, for example. But whereas native speakers would be quite happy with very distant, they mostly wouldn't like far distant any more than much distant (though I imagine increasing numbers would now be okay with way distant). But I think these are just issues of idiomatic currency, not grammar or meaning. My point is that way today means more than just at a great distance; it shouldn't be thus "defined". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2014-02-16T00:47:29.973

@FumbleFingers As an aside, I'm not sure I agree that idiomatic currency can be so easily separated from grammar/meeting. But yes, I agree with you that this idiomatic meaning is important. – Mark S. – 2014-02-16T00:53:16.723

1@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. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2014-02-16T01:15:29.723

@FumbleFingers I agree. Sorry If I misspoke. – Mark S. – 2014-02-16T01:17:51.503

@Panzercrisis, I know, just was a little off-kilter from reading a textbook page on auxiliary verb characteristics, one of them being their ability to precede some kinds of adverbs which full verbs cannot precede (often, never - frequency adverbs \ naturally, definitely, fortunately - commentative adverbs, or 'disjuncts' is the author's parlance). – CowperKettle – 2014-02-16T03:50:00.297


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.

Maulik V

Posted 2014-02-15T11:55:06.157

Reputation: 66 188

1I think way over usually has no dash inside. – Damkerng T. – 2014-02-15T12:03:13.503

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 – 2014-02-15T12:05:28.170

@user62015 DamkerngT. is right; way-over is not an English expression, and does not conform to any standard template for constructing expressions. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2014-02-15T17:38:42.127

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?" – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2014-02-15T23:52:47.747

@FumbleFingers corrected. I just wanted to describe that way over means intense or more in degree or distance. – Maulik V – 2014-02-16T07:48:13.130

@Maulik: Downvote duly reversed. That's a good link, btw. I notice the 41st point offers *considerably* as a synonym/definition, which you've deftly alluded to in your text. I don't understand your hyphenated way-over or user62015's comment thereto though - I can't imagine even a hopelessly-contrived context where that hyphen would be credible. – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica – 2014-02-16T13:55:20.707


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.


Posted 2014-02-15T11:55:06.157

Reputation: 128

I agree - but this doesn't address OP's question. – StoneyB on hiatus – 2014-02-15T17:35:07.173

1What 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. – 2014-02-15T21:39:21.333


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.


Posted 2014-02-15T11:55:06.157

Reputation: 947