‘Away’ comes from an Old English word, onweg, meaning ‘on one’s way.’ it is broadly defined as ‘at a distance from’ but we can use it to talk about physical space, time and focus, amongst other things.
- Physical space We parked about 10 meters away from the entrance.
- Time My keynote speech is only a week away!
- Focus We shifted our efforts away from traditional marketing and moved towards social media.
- To keep in a place Put away your phones and we’ll start the meeting.
- To disappear All my fears faded away as I stepped up to the podium.
- Not here I’m sorry, Maribel is away this week.
- Continuing Sara whistled away as she finished up her day’s work.
And of course ‘away’ has its collocations. If something is a heartbeat away it is very close. If you are unavailable during working hours, your colleagues might tell a caller that you are away from your desk. To separate from the rest is to break away. If someone has a far-away look in their eyes, that means they’re daydreaming, not thinking of the present. If you have a gift for your customers, it’s called a give away. Telling someone to go away will make them leave. You can move away and relocate to another neighbourhood or city. You throw away what you want to discard. I do so hope you come away from this post with a few extra tidbits of information!
Up, up and away!