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Further and farther are both used to indicate more distance. This similarity creates confusion about whether to use further or farther. However, there’s a slight difference between farther vs. further. In this article, we’ll explain how the meanings of further and farther differ with the help of specific examples.
We’ve also explained when to use farther and further. With this, we’ve also clarified whether to use further or farther in well-known phrases. So let’s get started!
Further means a greater distance but doesn’t refer to physically how far the distance is. It’s used in a non-literal, figurative, and symbolic way to show distance. In such cases, further is an adverb, describing the action in the sentence.
He went further down the road. (adverb)
She went further away from him. (adverb)
The word further also has another meaning. Further also denotes the advancement or progress of something. Further, in such cases, shows the action and is the verb.
She wished to further her ambitions through his influence. (verb)
He had to go to France to further her special assignment. (verb)
The word further also can mean more, additionally, or beyond something.
To understand the concept further, he read more books. (adjective)
He gave further guidelines to ensure safety. (adjective)
The word farther means a greater distance in literal, physical terms. Farther, in these cases, is an adverb. Here are some examples for clarity:
He drifted farther away from the Hawaiian islands. (adverb)
The astronauts traveled farther into space, beyond the Milky Way galaxy. (adverb)
These further vs. farther examples clearly show the difference between farther and further. However, further and farther are also used in various phrases while communicating. Dive deeper to understand whether to use farther vs. further in various phrases!
Both these phrases are correct but their usage differs. Use further away to show symbolically how something is far. If you want to express the physical distance, use farther away.
He went further away from him.
The post office was farther away from the village.
Both further along and farther long are used as phrases, depending on the context. If there is no reference to the physical distance, further can be used. If the physical distance needs to be defined, farther can be used.
Further along her career, she will receive many good opportunities.
Farther along the road to Niagara Falls, Sonya saw something strange.
Both further from the truth and farther from the truth are used worldwide. However, further from the truth is widely considered the appropriate answer. The reason for this is that truth is an abstract, subjective concept that cannot be physically measured.
She realized that she had gone further from the truth.
I know that I am not further from the truth.
Both further away and farther away can be used to show how something is at a greater distance from another object/person. However, further away is used to show symbolically how something is distant. In contrast, farther away is used to depict how something is physically distant.
He went further away from the anonymous parcel.
She drove farther away from the Great Wall of China.
Both further out and farther out are considered correct, but have slightly different meanings. While further out means that something is far metaphorically, farther out means that something is at a greater distance physically.
She explored further out into the Amazon forests.
The horses rode farther out into the Rocky Mountain National Park.
While moving farther refers to distancing oneself physically from someone or something, moving further denotes going ahead figuratively. For example:
She was moving further away from the catastrophe.
They were moving farther away from the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Further behind is used to show a greater distance at the back of something, metaphorically. In contrast, farther depicts how something/ someone is physically far from something.
He was left further behind in the race.
The horse Confidence Game fell farther and farther behind in the Kentucky Derby.
Further time is widely accepted as the correct phrase. The reason is that time is considered as an abstract concept. Let us see some farther vs. further examples.
He planned to have lunch with her at some further time.
We need further time to take the decision.
The appropriate phrase is look no further. This is because, look no further symbolically denotes a greater distance. It means something that is exactly what someone desires. This phrase doesn’t refer to the physical distance between someone/ something.
If you’re searching for a romantic vacation, look no further than Venice.
If you wish to explore the English countryside, look no further than Cheshire.
Though both phrases go further and go farther can be used, there is a slight difference in meaning. While the phrase go farther refers to a greater distance metaphorically, go further means a longer distance in literal, physical terms. Go further also means taking a bigger step forward and advancing in something. Here are some examples to make the meanings more clear:
He would like to go farther, towards Mount Fuji.
She decided to go further than the base camp of Mount Everest and complete the trek.
They decided to go further with the Russian deal and finalize the payments.
Both phrases step further and step farther are correct. However, step further is more commonly used.
He took one step further and destroyed all documents that could implicate him.
They went a step further and invited Irene to their home.
While both phrases indicate a greater distance, there is a slight difference. Further up means at a higher point, near the topmost point. In contrast, farther in denotes going deeper into a place.
He climbed further up and reached the peak of Mount Elbert.
Farther in, there were ancient relics in the Mayan caves.
Further can be used when you don’t want to mention the physical distance, instead, you only want to convey that something/someone is far. You can also use further to show progress or refer to something extra. On the other hand, you can use farther when you understand the physical distance and wish to communicate this distance.
A simple trick to remember the difference between these two words is to keep in mind the first three letters of “farther.” Since “far” is used to describe physical objects, remembering this difference will help to determine whether to use “further” or “farther”.
We’ve traveled far but we’ve to travel farther still, deeper in Asia.
We hope this article has dispelled all your doubts about further and farther. You can save this article and revisit it if you’re ever confused about whether to use farther or further! We’re always ready to help you clear your concepts and prevent common grammar mistakes.
As experts who provide professional editing services, we realize that there are many commonly confused words in the English language. To help you avoid making any errors, we’ve curated the following list of resources:
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