Writers Unite!’s mission is to offer a haven for writers to share their work and hone their craft. As the writing process is our focus, author, and WU! admin, Lynn Miclea has created a series of “tips, tools, and tidbits” about writing for our members or anyone interested in writing to help improve their writing. Check the menu bar for any tips you may have missed or click on this link.
FURTHER versus FARTHER
People often mix up the words further and farther. Although there is an overlap, these words are generally used in different ways.
Further refers to metaphorical, symbolic, or figurative distance, not physical distance. Further can also mean additional or more, moreover, and to advance. If you can replace it with additional or more, or if it does not involve physical distance, use further.
- Let’s discuss this further.
- I’d like to go into further detail about that.
- He needs to know what their further plans are.
- She wanted to further the project.
- Further, this is not appropriate here.
- He needs further instruction.
- Your statement could not be further from the truth.
- She asked, but no further details were given.
Farther refers only to physical distance or distance that can be measured. Hint: farther has the word far in it. If it refers to physical distance, use farther.
- They walked farther down the road.
- You’re almost there; it’s just a little bit farther.
- He rowed farther out onto the lake.
- The farther you go, the more farms you’ll see.
- She is much farther away by now.
- He was exhausted and could not go any farther.
- How much farther is it?
- His house is farther down that street.
Basically, if it refers to symbolic or figurative distance, or if you can replace it with additional or more, use further.
If it relates to physical distance, use farther.
If it is ambiguous and unclear, or if it does not involve physical distance, it is better to use further.
Hint: Farther has the word far in it. For physical distance, use farther. For all other meanings, use further.
Please look at the chart for an easy summary and helpful reminder.