Go the extra mile

Go the extra mile is an idiom with its roots in biblical times. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal meaning. We will examine the definition of the phrase go the extra mile, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

To go the extra mile means to go above and beyond what is expected, to make a bigger effort than is required, to exert special energy in order to accomplish something. The idiom go the extra mile is derived from the New Testament. In the book of Matthew, chapter five verse forty-one, Jesus says, “Whoever forces you to go one mile, go with him two.” This verse is taken from the Sermon on the Mount and is an exhortation to bear one’s burden cheerfully and with generosity toward others. Today, to say that someone will go the extra mile is a compliment, acknowledging when someone puts forth more effort than is expected. Related phrases are goes the extra mile, went the extra mile, going the extra mile.


There is a relentless drive to achieve the best possible GCSE results for all the students and praise must go to the outstanding teaching and support staff at Unity College who go the extra mile for the students every day. (The Burnley Express)

Another family received a special certificate after they went the extra mile and beyond by clocking nearly 600 laps between them. (The Express and Star)

“FAPA is proud to be a champion of authors and publishers going the extra mile to produce books of excellence in every aspect.” said Jane R. Wood, President-Elect of FAPA. (The Holmes County Times Advertiser)

Want to have more idioms in your arsenal? Check out some others we covered: