Skip to main content

Difference between Come a long way and Go a long way

come a long waymake great progress; significantly improve over a period of time:

  • Ideas about the educability of the masses have come a long way during the past 100 years.

go a long way

1. = come a long way:

  • Technology has gone a long way since the sixties both in diesel and gas engines.

Cf.: have a long way to gobe far short of some standard or achievement:

  • Although we have got the vote, we women have a long way to go before we get a positive square deal.

2. (of a stock of provisions, money, etc.) be sufficient; last long:

  • The more students a school has, the more funds it receives. So what money we get must go a long way.

3. notably assist in or promote smth.:

  • The regular maintenance of your installation can go a long way towards reduced fuel bills.

Cf.: go some way—contribute to or assist in smth.:

  • The study goes some way to explaining why some people burn more calories than others.


a) The expression is not antonymous in meaning to the phrase go back a long wayused of smth. that has been in existence for a long time:

  • Wine making goes back a long way in countries like Egypt, Greece and France.

b) The expression does not correlate in meaning with the phrase go to great lengths—(also: go the extra mile) make an extra effort; try very hard to achieve a result:

  • Personal appearance can be very important to some people. So much so, that they will go to great lengths to maintain a youthful look.