The Difference Between Farther and Further

Daven Hiskey 4
Now You KnowYou should know the difference between “farther” and “further”.

Many people use “further” and “farther” interchangeable, but, in fact, they mean slightly different things.  “Farther” refers to a physical distance, while “further” refers to a figurative distance.  So, when wondering how many more miles or kilometers to a particular destination, you’d say, “How much farther to the gas station?”  On the other hand, when speaking of a figurative measure, you should use “further”. For instance, “Nothing could be further from the truth.”

Probably the best way to remember the distinction between “farther” and “further” is to think about where you’d use the word “furthermore”.  In this case, you use it much like “in addition to”, which is tied to something figurative.  So just remember “farther” = “physical” and “further” = “figurative”.

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4 Comments »

  1. alex November 3, 2012 at 12:20 am - Reply

    This only applies to American English. in British English Further is used in every context.

    • Daven Hiskey
      Daven Hiskey November 3, 2012 at 12:44 am - Reply

      @alex: Technically correctly or just used commonly?

  2. Paul December 27, 2014 at 12:48 am - Reply

    “interchangablY”… As far as I am aware, American English also uses adverbs :) BTW, Canadian English uses both for all contexts as well, especially in the east. The west was settled by a different kind of folk.

  3. MarcoC January 12, 2015 at 5:40 pm - Reply

    <Mnemonically I prefer to think as "Farther" contains the word "Far" with contains the concept of distance. "Further contains the word "fur" with has absolutely nothing to do with "Further" real meaning.

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