Thus Far vs So Far: Unraveling the Meaning and Distinction

No Significant Difference In Meaning

When it comes to the phrases “thus far” and “so far,” it can be comforting to know that they hold no significant difference in meaning. Both expressions convey the idea of something that has happened or progressed up until the present moment.

Whether you choose to use “thus far” or “so far,” you can rest assured that your message will be understood.

“Thus Far” In The Phrase “Thus Far”

While both “thus far” and “so far” essentially mean the same thing, it’s worth noting that “thus far” is typically used in the phrase “thus far.” This specific construction is more prevalent in formal writing or situations where a more refined tone is desired. On the other hand, “so far” is the more common and informal expression used in everyday conversation.

Both Mean “Until Now” Or “Up To This Point”

Regardless of whether you choose to use “thus far” or “so far,” both phrases convey the idea of something that has occurred or progressed until the present moment. They can be used interchangeably to mean “until now” or “up to this point.” So, whether you say, “The project has been successful thus far” or “The project has been successful so far,” the meaning remains the same.

“Thus Far” Is Formal, “So Far” Is Informal

An important distinction between “thus far” and “so far” lies in their level of formality. “Thus far” is commonly used in more formal contexts, such as academic writing, legal documents, or professional settings.

Its formal tone adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to the language. Conversely, “so far” is a more casual and widely used expression in everyday speech.

It lends itself well to informal conversations, emails, and informal writing styles.

“Thus Far And No Further” Is Formal

A variant of the phrase “thus far” that is worth mentioning is “thus far and no further.” This formal expression is used to indicate that a certain point marks the boundary beyond which something will change or not be allowed to continue. It signifies a decisive shift in circumstances or a threshold where a particular course of action ends.

For example, “The negotiations have gone on thus far, but from now on, we will require a different approach.”

Commas Recommended After Both Phrases

When using either “thus far” or “so far” in a sentence, it is recommended to include a comma after the respective phrase. This comma helps to create a natural pause in the sentence and clarifies the intended meaning.

For instance, “The research has been promising, thus far” or “We have explored many options, so far.”

Slight Pause Before Continuing

When using the phrases “thus far” or “so far,” it is common to pause slightly before continuing with the rest of the sentence. This pause allows the listener or reader to absorb the information presented and acknowledges the significance of the progress or events that have transpired up to that point.

It adds a sense of emphasis and intention to the statement.

No Comma Needed When Followed By “And”

Unlike the general recommendation to include a comma after “thus far” or “so far” when used alone, if either phrase is followed by the word “and,” a comma is not necessary. This is because the conjunction “and” immediately connects the phrase to the following part of the sentence.

For example, “Thus far and yet to come” or “So far and beyond our expectations.”


In summary, “thus far” and “so far” share the same meaning and convey the concept of something that has occurred or progressed up until the present moment. “Thus far” is more formal and commonly used in formal writing or professional settings, while “so far” is the more informal and widely used expression in everyday conversation.

Both phrases can be used interchangeably, with a comma recommended after them and a slight pause before continuing with the rest of the sentence. When followed by the word “and,” no comma is necessary.

So, whether you choose to use “thus far” or “so far,” rest assured that you are conveying the intended meaning accurately.

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