Difference Between Further and Farther

Edited by Diffzy | Updated on: September 21, 2022


Difference Between Further and Farther Difference Between Further and Farther

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While most people use the words further and farther interchangeably, these two adverbs actually mean different things. Understanding the difference between further and farther can mean the difference between success and failure in work, school, and life. This article discusses how to use further and farther correctly and how to know when to use each one in your writing.

The two words further and farther both refer to physical distance, but they are not interchangeable. Use further to describe measurable distance, while farther is used to measure an uncountable distance. There are several common mistakes that people make when using these words. It’s a good idea to keep reading if you want a better understanding of how each word is used in different situations. You might be surprised by what you learn!

When referring to physical distance, use it further when you can quantify it with a number or measurement. For example: How much farther do we have before we reach our destination? When referring to something with no specific measurements—such as time—use farther instead: How much farther along is your wedding date? You can use either one in these types of sentences; however, consider whether or not your statement has measurements so you know which word fits best. There are other cases where either can be used properly; however, it's important to think about context and situation so that your meaning remains clear. Here are some examples: Which came first —the chicken or the egg?

Further vs Farther

If you’re having trouble differentiating between these two words, don’t worry: a lot of people do. Both further and farther indicate distance, but their meanings are slightly different. In general, use farther to indicate actual physical distance or length: the train station is farther away than I thought it would be. Use further to describe something figuratively related to distance: I would go no further into that dark basement. If you can think of something as being extended in space or time, use further rather than farther. For example, if you have further questions about my proposal, please ask me. You could also say further discussion instead of farther discussion. The bottom line? Just remember that when you're referring to distance in terms of location (not amount), choose farther; otherwise, stick with further.

What's your take on further vs farther? Leave us a comment below!

If you're still unsure, read it again. If in doubt, go with further. But remember: if you aren't sure whether to use farther or further, don't hesitate to ask someone else—or do some research—to determine which is appropriate for your situation. When we edit our work, especially when it involves grammar or spelling, it’s easy to become nitpicky about every word choice. As soon as we notice that we’ve used an incorrect word, even if it makes sense in context and there isn’t an obvious substitute, our eyes jump back to fix it before moving forward with editing.

Difference Between Further and Farther in Tabular Form

Table: Further vs Farther
Basis For Comparison
'Further' shows inventive distance, for example, it basically manages how much something is away or aside from the other.
The word 'farther' is utilized to demonstrate more far off, or longer as far as the distance which is measurable.
Part of speech
The word further is an adverb
Farther is usually used to modify a verb
Actual or figurative distance
Symbolic distance

What is Further?

The word further is an adverb, which means it modifies a verb. It can also be an adjective. As an adverb, it means to go beyond a certain point or limit; in addition; more; or to a greater degree. In regards to time, distance, amount, etc., further can mean to a larger extent than is usual. It's often used in writing for emphasis: She fell even further behind in her studies. How far would you have to travel before your destination became further away? (Here, we're talking about distance.) He wanted to go further with his education but couldn't afford it. (Here, we're talking about going beyond college.) He needed another $5 million dollars to take his business plan any further. (Here, we're talking about taking action on something.) As an adjective, further means additional; extra; or anything that adds to what has already been saying. It can also mean future; impending; upcoming; or coming after something else in time: I'm looking forward to seeing you again next week—I hope there are no further delays! The company will need additional funding if they want to make its product any further. I think my wife wants to talk to me about something further regarding our finances. What is Farther: The word farther is an adverb, which means it modifies a verb. It can also be an adjective. As an adverb, farther means at or to a greater distance; at or to a higher degree of difference; by extension of time, space, number, etc.; by contrast; and so forth.

How do you use Further?

The adjective further comes from Old English fær, meaning distant or remote. Though it can mean either physically or figuratively distant in its various forms, you usually use it to describe physical distance. For example, you might use further to describe how far away something is: The picnic is at least a mile further down the trail. You could also use it to describe an extension of time: We have another month before we need to worry about paying our bills again. You can also use it further as an adverb (in addition) or as a verb (to make progress). In these cases, you would say that one thing furthers another thing or that one thing furthers another action. Finally, further can be used as an interjection (an exclamation) when you want to emphasize your point by saying I know! for example. How do you use Farther? The word farther comes from Old English Ferran, which means to travel or move. It has many meanings related to traveling, moving, and extending in space or time. However, farther is not always interchangeable with further; they are often used differently depending on context. For example, if you’re talking about physical distance then farther refers to greater distances than further—that is, farther refers to longer distances than further does.

What is Farther?

Farther means that there is a measurable distance between two points. I can’t wait to see what’s over that next hill! It’s not just out there, it is further out there. A father might say to his son, I will give you $100 if you walk to school by yourself—but only if you go further than half a mile. So far, so good. And, yes, there are those who think farther should be used for physical distances and further for figurative ones (i.e., I want to learn more about these people), but most experts agree that both words work in either context (though some use further as a noun). The same is true of your second question: They live on opposite sides of town; they live at opposite ends of town. That doesn't mean they're each on their own end of town--they're simply on opposite ends. If we wanted to make them opposites, we'd have to write: They live at different ends of town. Or: They live at opposite ends of town. There's no need to add the opposite twice, though it's fine if you do. Bottom line: When using farther or further in a sentence, don't worry too much about which one is correct; instead, focus on making sure your meaning is clear. For example, This semester my writing class went further into developing our skills that could easily be rewritten as This semester my writing class went deeper into developing our skills. Either way, you'll get an A. In fact, any way you say it would be right. We've covered a lot of ground here and while things may seem foggy now, soon enough you'll know exactly how to tell whether something is farther or further away from you. For example: He walked around her house until he found her garden shed--that was a little bit farther away from him than he had hoped! Get it? Good!

How do you use Farther?

As a comparative adjective, farther is usually used to modify a verb: He can throw farther than his brother. We ran farther than we ever have before. It is not uncommon for native speakers to misapply further as an adverb when they mean farther. For example, while it is technically correct to say I will go no further, it sounds better with further: I will go no further. Use of no further with either word should be avoided in formal writing. When you are being more figurative or metaphorical, you can use either word: The festival was quite delightful but had no further appeal for me. I don’t think she has any further to fall in her career. Both words can also be used as nouns: They walked for miles; then they had to camp because there was no further (or farther) that day. No one has traveled any further (or farther) than he did on foot. Finally, both words are used in comparisons involving three or more things: That bird sings far/further/farther than any other bird around here. There were some very bad apples among those we bought—none were good at all. Some people think those who disagree with them are completely wrong; others feel their opponents have gone no further (or farther) than they themselves would. In these cases, however, which word you choose doesn’t matter much since each works just fine. However, if you find yourself wondering whether to use farther or further—as most people do from time to time—think about what kind of sentence you want to write and pick accordingly. Does your sentence describe movement? Then use farther. Does your sentence compare things?

The Main Difference Between Further and Farther in Points

  • In American English, further is used in both comparative and superlative forms.
  • In British English, only 'further' is used in superlative forms while 'farther' is used in both comparative and superlative forms. (This rule applies to most words ending with -er) .
  • In British English, comparatives of 'near' or 'close' are: nearer (for one-syllable adjectives) or closer (for two-syllable adjectives). When describing spatial relationships, which words should I use? Here's a quick chart to help you decide between further vs farther.
  • Incorrect Correct Further away from me. Farther away from me.
  • Further down my street. Farther down my street. Further along that path. Farther along that path. I'm going further into town today than yesterday.(American English) I'm going farther into town today than yesterday.(British English)
  • The difference between these two words is not as simple as it seems at first glance, because each word has several meanings and can be used in different ways depending on its context within a sentence.
  • For example, further may mean additional or in addition to, whereas farther means at or to a greater distance. However, further may also mean moreover or in addition, while farther may mean even more so.
  • These differences are subtle enough that many people get them confused. In fact, there's no official distinction between further and farther in either British or American English—they're both considered correct.
  • But if you want to avoid any confusion, here's a quick chart to help you decide which one is appropriate for your intended meaning: Incorrect Correct I'm going further into town today than yesterday.(American English) I'm going farther into town today than yesterday.(British English) Further down my street? (distance) Farther down my street?


As you can see, there is a difference between further and farther. We've covered both adverb uses, as well as which words to use when referring to physical distance. You'll find it much easier to keep these two words straight after reading over our simple explanation. We look forward to seeing you on our next American English post!

If you want to learn more about American English, check out FluentU. This video-based platform helps users learn through authentic videos in real-world situations with captions in native language. FluentU teaches real vocabulary—words that college students actually use. And FluentU isn't just videos—it's a complete language learning program which includes interactive flashcards and personalized quizzes that are available anytime via your computer or mobile device.

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"Difference Between Further and Farther." Diffzy.com, 2023. Mon. 27 Mar. 2023. <https://www.diffzy.com/article/difference-between-further-and-farther-540>.

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