By Jacqueline Schaalje
So what have you done so far?
Your boss can ask you this when she wants to know where you are in a project.
Or you can ask yourself: What have I done so far?
So far means until now, up till this point.
So far implies that you are in the middle of something that you’re busy finishing.
For example: You could have read half your emails so far.
You could have written three thirds of your new book.
You could have programmed half of the code for an application that you’re developing.
You could have read only one fourth of the book that you need to know for tomorrow’s exam.
Or so far you’ve only drunk four cups of tea and that’s it.
In sentences with so far you’d usually use the present perfect tense. Why? Because the situation connects something in the past (I started something in the past) with something now (I’m still busy on it). If you need to refresh your memory about how present perfect works, have a look here.
Okay, now let’s practise.
Have a look at this picture. What have the participants (people) in the meeting been talking about so far? It looks like we’ve got a deal, right?
So far, they’ve done the following:
Elisabeth has crunched the numbers (did a few calculations) and it seems they didn’t foresee such a big growth in the demand for their product.
They’ve discussed how they’d like to purchase (buy) more of Edwin’s products (he’s the man in the red shirt). But they can’t afford it at the price that he asks, because they’re having a problem with their cash flow (they don’t have enough cash money to pay suppliers).
“So far, I’ve given you a good price already,” says Edwin.
“Yes, but we need another 2,000 units,” says Pol (the black guy). “So far, we’ve paid you full price for your units, but now we’d like a discount.”
“We’ve already extended our line of credit at the bank,” warns Elisabeth. “So far, they’ve always given us loans without asking too many questions, but that may not continue. We may even be overextended.”
“Well, so far we’ve given them lots of assurances. That should keep them happy,” says Pol.
“So far, we’ve also paid them lots of interest on those loans,” says Elisabeth. “We should stop borrowing so much money.”
Miguel (the man in the black suit) says: “Well, don’t worry too much, for now the cash flow projections for next month aren’t looking too bad actually.”
“Well, can I suggest another solution?” asks Edwin. “So far, you’ve always paid me exactly one month after delivery. But I’m willing to extend your terms of payment. How about three months? Would that solve your problem?”
“Thanks. I suppose it would. It would be a good stopgap solution for now,” says Elisabeth.
“And I’ll give you a 10 percent discount on those units,” says Edwin.
“Great. So far we haven’t run into any problems with you, and we want to keep it that way,” says Pol.
Everybody’s happy, so far. They talk a bit more, and wrap up the details to close the deal.
Now see if you can solve the following negotiations crisis. So far, the parties have discussed the following. Your task is to figure out what comes next.
Match the unfinished phrases with their ending.
A enough cash to pay for our next order.
B and we really appreciate it.
C but I don’t mind if we make this more flexible.
D paying you promptly on time.
E the payment term so far.
F and never were late even once so far.
1 So far, we’ve always been a very good client of yours, …
2 So far, we’ve received the very best quality …
3 You’ve always met our delivery schedules …
4 Your payment has always been quick and within …
5 We have a problem now, though, as so far we’ve neglected to set aside …
6 Oh, let me make a suggestion. So far, you’ve paid me after one month, …
Done all the free quizzes?