Farther and Further
What’s the difference between farther and further and how do you use them?
Many native speakers mix these words up. Why? Because they usually, but not always, mean exactly the same thing. Let’s look at the similarities first.
1. Similarities – they both mean “more far” in space or time
• The dog kept walking farther/further up the road.
• We drove farther/further looking for a gas station.
• This project can’t go any farther/further without your approval.
• I did NOT take the money! Nothing could be farther/further from the truth.
• The grocery store is farther/further from my apartment than 7-11.
• Sydney is a lot farther/further away than London.
2. Differences – further (not farther) = advance, or in addition
O I furthered my experience by working hard. (advance)
X I farthered my experience by working hard.
O I’m working hard to further my career. (advance)
X I’m working hard to farther my career.
O We will promote the event online. Further, we’ll offer a 10% discount for early sign-ups. (in addition)
X We will promote the event online. Farther, we’ll offer a 10% discount for early sign-ups.
O You will remain in your quarters until further notice. (additional)
X You will remain in your quarters until farther notice.
Formal written expression
O Further to our letter of August 6th, we will no longer accept payments in cash. (in addition to)
X Farther to our letter of August 6th, we will no longer accept payments in cash.
You’re not alone. This is a common mistake for native speakers. My advice, use “farther” for distance and “further” for “advance” or “in addition”.
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