Confusing Words

Further Vs Farther

Further and farther are two terms which look similar and even sound similar but must not be used interchangeably. While they do have almost identical meanings, they are not exactly the same. Thus, it is understandable to mix them up with each other when talking and writing. To clear up the difference between further vs farther, we will look at what they mean. We use further when referring to the figurative distances or something which is additional or more. On the other hand, we use farther to refer to actual distances between objects. So, when you mix them up both, you will be using them wrongly, so better to avoid it.

In other words, you can say that further and farther both refer to a greater distance or extent. But, when you use farther, you refer to a greater distance literally, meaning in the physical sense. You can measure it. While further is like a figurative or metaphorical distance. Most importantly, you can use both of these terms as adverbs or adjectives. So, you see that further vs farther is quite important. While it is true that the rules of using both these terms are somewhat vague, but we aim to clear it up with this article.

further vs farther

Difference between Further Vs Farther

To explain it simply, we can say that further and farther both mean more far, which does not sound correct grammatically. That is why we make use of further and farther to provide a succinct explanation. This makes understanding further vs farther more important.

In other words, farther means to a greater distance or more advanced point. Further means to a greater degree or extent. For instance, when you say he moved further down the train or farther down the train, you will notice both the words share the same roots.

So, there is not any difference in meaning and both are also equally correct. However, the word further is used more commonly in several abstract and metaphorical content, when we refer to time. Farther is not that commonly used. For instance, without further delay, anything further to say, further two weeks.

When/How to Use Further

The most common thing rule to remember when using further is that when you speak of a figurative or non-physical distance. For instance, Dan will go far in life, but Jen, who is smarter, will go further.

So, when you use further here, it is evident that you are not referring to a physical distance but a metaphorical one which is connected to achievement. Mostly, we use further as an adverb to denote an abstract distance.

Incorrect: The ruling party will proceed no farther with the bill until after the election.

Correct: The ruling party will proceed no further with the bill until after the election.

When/How to Use Farther

We use farther when we talk about a physical distance which we can measure. Thus, we can use farther as an adverb to denote something is at a greater distance. Moreover, we can also use it as an adjective to describe something that is more remote.

Therefore, it is recommended to make the use of farther in the correct sense when talking about a physical distance. It is not about measuring the distance metaphorically but physically. For instance, look at the following examples to know about further vs farther:

Incorrect: Which is further from here, London or New York?

Correct: Which is farther from here, London or New York?

Examples of Further – Using Further in a Sentence

You can use further as an adverb and an adjective as well. The adverb further expresses a relationship to a place or time which is additional or to a greater degree. Moreover, when we use it as an adjective, it describes a distance or something which is beyond or additional. Finally, as a verb, it refers to the action of helping to move something forward, in a symbolic sense. Let’s look at some examples:

  • Priya could tolerate no further indiscretions.
  • To further their cause, they organized a protest.
  • We plan to use social media to further the brand.
  • The scientists decided to research further into this study.
  • The police gave no further details on the new development in the case.

Examples of Farther – Using Farther in a Sentence

When we use farther as an adjective, it describes when one object is more distant than the other. In other words, it requires a measurement of the distance from one common point to both objects. Further, when we use it as an adverb, it shows an action which results in a greater distance. Let us take a look at some examples:

  • The jeep has driven farther than the bus.
  • She couldn’t run any farther that night.
  • The blue bike is farther away than the red bike.
  • The fast-food restaurant at the farther end of the boardwalk is cheaper.
  • Looking up, John realized he had swum farther than he’d thought.
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