What Does It Mean to 'Go the Extra Mile'?

When someone advises you to 'Go the Extra Mile,' they're not suggesting you extend your morning jog. This idiom means to make a greater effort, to do more than what is expected of you. It's about putting in additional work to achieve something, often to help others or to ensure a task is done to the best of one's ability. 🚀

Download App

The Historical Path of 'Go the Extra Mile'

Believe it or not, this phrase has biblical origins. It comes from Jesus' Sermon on the Mount, where he teaches, "And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain" (Matthew 5:41, King James Version). This referred to the Roman practice of requiring people to carry a soldier's gear for a mile. Going an extra mile was thus a sign of extraordinary kindness and effort.

Did You Know About 'Go the Extra Mile'?

Today, the phrase is a common metaphor for exerting great effort or service, and it's often used in motivational speeches and personal development literature. It has transcended its religious origins to become a secular call to action in everyday life.

'Go the Extra Mile' in Everyday Use

In contemporary terms, 'Go the Extra Mile' can apply to various situations—work, relationships, personal goals—where increased effort can lead to greater success and satisfaction.

Examples Where You Might 'Go the Extra Mile'

To fully grasp 'Go the Extra Mile,' let's look at how it can be used:

  • She went the extra mile for her client, staying late to ensure the project was perfect.
  • Despite having finished his chores, the young boy went the extra mile and also tidied up the garage.
  • When preparing for the marathon, he went the extra mile in training, running additional miles each day.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is 'Go the Extra Mile' always about physical effort?

No, the idiom is metaphorical and can refer to any type of effort, whether mental, emotional, or physical.

Can 'Go the Extra Mile' be used in a negative context?

It is typically used positively, but it can be negative if the extra effort leads to burnout or if someone is taken advantage of.

How can I start using this idiom?

Look for situations where someone is putting in more effort than required and point it out by saying they're 'going the extra mile.'

Is this idiom used worldwide?

'Go the Extra Mile' is widely used in English-speaking countries and is easily understood due to its clear metaphorical meaning.

Ready to chat like a pro and toss around idioms like confetti? Jump into Metkagram's totally free English Idioms course and start slinging those phrases with style. Just a click and you're in! Let's get this idiom party started! 🎉

This piece reflects the expertise of Metkagram's team of linguists. Explore our language learning innovations on our LinkedIn page.

🏆 We hope you enjoyed diving into the depths of our content. But guess what? There’s so much more that awaits you in the world of Metkagram. Don’t let this be the end. There’s a treasure trove of English wonders waiting for you on the other side. Ready to unlock it?

Get App