“The distance between us and the nearest star is so vast, it takes about 4 years for its light to reach us.”

English Lesson: The distance between us and the nearest star is so vast, it takes about 4 years for its light to reach us.

You're a middle school science teacher. You're teaching your students about space. You want to explain how far away stars are from each other.

The distance between us and the nearest star is so vast, it takes about 4 years for its light to reach us.

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it takes (something) (a length of time)

This is a phrase for saying how long a common process or action is.

It often expresses how long a person's travel time is:

It takes me 20 minutes to get to work.

It can also be used to talk about other actions, like taking a shower, getting dressed, and putting on makeup to get ready to go out:

It takes Erin an hour and a half to get ready.

And you can use it to talk about natural processes:

It takes about two weeks for the fruit to ripen.

the distance between (something) and (something)

Talk about how far away two things are from each other this way:

The distance beween Seoul and Pyongyang is only about two hundred kilometers.

Talking about distance in this way sounds kind of technical.

the nearest (something)

Use this phrase to talk about things that are closest to each other:

We lived way out in the country. The nearest neighbor was over a mile away.

(something) is vast

The word "vast" means "really big". But "vast" is not a really common word. It's mostly used in a few situations and phrases:

  • Use it when talking about outer space or the ocean:

    The distance between Earth and Mars is vast.

    There was nothing around us except for the vast ocean in every direction.

(something) reaches (somewhere)

When something is traveling from one place to a destination, it "reaches" the destination. That means that it gets to the place that it's supposed to go to:

The train is supposed to reach Moscow at about five o'clock.

Back in those days, it could take months for a letter to reach someone on the other side of the ocean.