Posted by: Jack Henry | January 26, 2016

Editor’s Corner: Further and Farther

Dear Editrix,

I’m wondering about the two words further and farther. Do they mean the same thing? Is further farther away? I’m confused.

Further Father

Dear Father,

Generally, we use this rule:

· Farther is for physical distance, such as “John’s house is farther from school than it is from the public pool.” (Just think about “far” measuring distance.)

· Further is used more for figurative distance, such as, “If you take this argument any further, I will not make dinner.” (Just think about “fur” having nothing to do with distance or anything else in this conversation, unless you are talking about figurative or metaphorical puppies.)

Sometimes, it could be both, so your choice is okay either way. For example:

· I am further along in the assignment than I thought I would be.

· I am farther along in this assignment than you are—I’m on page 10 and you’re only on page 3.

For difficult moments where you aren’t sure if it is physical or figurative distance, it is safer to use further, since farther is restricted to distance only.



Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773

Symitar Documentation Services

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