to go out of (one’s) way


Do you know the English phrase “to go out of (one’s) way”?

Read these conversations and the short story. Can you guess what it means?

Eg 1:

A: How was your trip to Kyoto?

B: It was wonderful! Everyone went out of their way to make me feel comfortable.


Eg 2:

A: I’ll take these letters to the post office now.

B: Don’t go out of your way, I know you are very busy.

A: It’s OK. I don’t mind.



Eg 3:

A: That doctor is very kind to his patients isn’t he.

B: Yes, he is. He goes out of his way to make his patients feel relaxed.

A: I wish the other doctors in the hospital were the same. They never go out of their way! Some don’t even explain things to their patients!


Short Story (True Story!)



A long time ago, I worked in a big city in Japan. I finished work very late one night, and took the last train. On the train, I fell asleep.  When I woke up, the train was at the last stop. I had missed my stop! An elderly business man looked at me.

He said, “Are you OK?”

I said, “No, I missed my stop.”

He said, “Come with me.”

He took me to a taxi. He got in the taxi with me, and I told the driver my address. It was a 15 minute drive. We talked and he gave me his business card. He was the president of a large company. When we arrived at my home, I got out of the taxi. I offered some money, but he said “No. I will pay. Good night.”

Then, the taxi drove away.

The next day, I found the man’s email address on his business card. I thanked him. I said, “Thank you very much for last night. It was very kind of you to go out of your way like that.”

He replied. “It was no trouble at all. I’m glad you got home safely.”


Answer: to go out of one’s way = to make extra effort/to inconvenience oneself to help someone else, to do something extra, more than is expected. 🙂

Do you ever go out of your way to help people? In what kind of situations? Has anyone ever gone out of their way to help you?