Hammer Your Grammar: Further vs. Farther

Faydra Deon
By Faydra Deon February 4, 2013 19:48

Hammer Your Grammar: Further vs. Farther

Which of these sentences is correct?

A. The farmhouse is only a little further down the road?

B. The farmhouse is only a little farther down the road?

Further is used to denote figurative or “pretend” distance.

Farther is used to denote physical or “real” distance.

see the answer Show

Would you like an example of figurative/pretend distance? Here you go…

Let’s take this example a little further to help you keep these two words straight.

Yes, that was the example. 😀

We’re talking about extending the information so we can understand the topic. That’s figurative/pretend distance as opposed to physical/real distance.

For further, think furthermore.

Example: I don’t like the way you yell at the children. Furthermore, you’re causing them to be afraid to come to you when they have problems.

For farther, think far.

Example: I know we’re walking far away from the town, but our destination is only a little farther past those mountains.

Here’s a good question…

What do you do if it seems you can use either further or farther and the sentence would still be grammatically correct?

Example: Amina is further/farther along in the study materials than Jasper.

Are we saying that Amina has physically gone through more material than Jasper, or are we saying that Amina has figuratively learned more from the same amount of material as Jasper?

Depending on how the sentence is interpreted or meant, both further and farther could be appropriate.

Answer: It’s better to choose to use further, because farther implies physical/real distance.

Do you have questions and/or tips about using further and farther? Please feel free to leave a comment.

Faydra Deon
By Faydra Deon February 4, 2013 19:48
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