Further vs Farther | Ask Linda! | English Grammar

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Published at : 01 Jan 2021
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“Farther” and “further” are often used interchangeably to talk about greater distances. However, there is a slight difference between the two. “Farther” is used to talk about physical distances for example “Tokyo is farther away than Beijing”. “Further” on the other hand is used to talk about non-physical, figurative distances for example “I’m falling further away from my goals”.

Oftentimes, people use farther and further interchangeably to talk about greater distances. However, there is a slight difference between the two.

Let’s break it down:

Farther is used to talk about physical distances as in:

Tokyo is farther away than Beijing.

Further, on the other hand, refers to more figurative and nonphysical distances, such as in

I am falling further away from my goals.

Goals are not a physical place.

It is also worth mentioning that this difference is predominantly used in the UK, Australia, Canada and elsewhere in the Commonwealth of Nations.

Also note that “further” is used as an adjective or adverb as a synonym for “additionally”.

Do you have any further questions?

Next time you’re not sure which one to use, ask yourself: Is it a physical or nonphysical distance that you’re talking about.

That’s it for today! See you next time!
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