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. 

farther vs further

1. Similarities – they both mean “more far” in space or time

adverb
 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. 

adjective 
 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

Verb 
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)
I’m working hard to farther my career.  

Adverb

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. 

Adjective
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) 
Farther to our letter of August 6th, we will no longer accept payments in cash. 

Still confused?
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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