In we regularly say, for instance, "he still has actually a ways to go before he"s done." Is this grammatically correct?



AHD4 has actually the complying with entry for ways:

ways n. Informal (provided with a sing. verb) Variant of way. See Usage Note at means.

You are watching: I ve got a ways to go

The Usage Note claims, in part:

In Amerihave the right to ways is often supplied as an identical of way in phrases such as a lengthy ways to go. The usage is acceptable but is commonly thought about informal.


As an idiom, the phrase appears well-established in the United States. As Peter Shor shelp, Ngram mirrors evidence of this. The Corpus of Contemporary Amerideserve to gives me 138 hits for "a methods to go" and also 193 for "a way to go". Many of these hits are from published print resources. (In the British National Corpus I acquire no hits for "a ways to go".)

As a indigenous speaker, I think "a methods to go" sounds fine.

EDIT: Also, view page 949 of the Merriam-Webster"s Thesaurus of Usage.


We have to note, though, that in Amerideserve to "a ways to go" suggests somepoint exceptionally certain. The hits for "a method to go" aren't really similar, as the sentences will certainly almost always be addressing something entirely various (e.g., "Is there a method to go to the save without passing any web traffic lights?").
"Ways" is not the plural of "way" yet a sepaprice word through its very own definition. "Ways" means "a specific distance, not great, probably, however significant"; it is frequently modified as "a tiny means," which makes it mean "an extremely moderate distance." The distance may be physical or figurative. "Ways" is singular, always viewed as "a ways." On this understanding, your usage is grammatically correct.


No, it is not grammatically correct - "a" is specifically singular, while "ways" is particularly plural.

(Of course, being grammatically incorrect does not proccasion it being in common consumption.)

"A ways" is just exactly how some of us Americans talk and via never before a second"s doubt. Hear Harvard guy EJ Dionne on NPR. Doesn"t know any type of better.

Other Americans talk that way as a joke, to affirm hick roots or to be deliberately rustic as the commenter notes.

Would one intend even more, as soon as some of use plural noun, "savings", as a singular subject? Not as soon as many ads say something prefer this. "Buy one, acquire one free! Now that"s a savings."

Many do the same via "an Olympics" definition "games". People that talk that way are not nimble enough to say "these Olympic games" or this "Olympic game series" taking a singular verb because "series" is the subject.

See more: Lou On Twitter: " Why Is Nobody Talking About The Mouthfeel : Tips From The Pros

What prompts these solecisms? Local composers of cheap advertisements. NPR announcers, who barring a couple of, are not all that educated.

For all their loud, hectoring, over-the-optimal ranters choose Limbaugh and Bill Reilly supposedly gained some education and learning alengthy the method.

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answered May 3 "14 at 0:58
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