Further vs Farther – When to Choose Which One and Why?

Because they sound similar, distinguishing further vs farther could be challenging. What adds to the confusion is the fact that these two words are used interchangeably.  Some guides say that farther means physical distance and farther means figurative distance, however it’s probably best to follow the advice in this article. Read on to know more in detail.


But not to worry! In this guide, we’ll be learning more about the difference between the two. We will also talk about how to use them correctly in a sentence. Before we do, check out more words and their usage on 501 Words

Further vs Farther

Aside from their differences in spelling, the correct usage of further vs. farther also sets these two apart. Before we learn how to use them properly, let’s learn about how they function in a sentence.

When to Use Further vs Farther

Further can be used as a verb, adverb, or adjective in a sentence. Meanwhile, farther can functions as an adjective and adverb in a sentence.


When used as a verb, further means “advance or help in the progress of something.” Look at this example: “He talked to the mayor to further his political interests.” In this sentence above, “further” was used as a verb to the object “political interests.”

When used as an adverb, “further” means “in addition to.” The Ford ad slogan “Go further” is an example of its adverb function.

Informative bulb

When used as an adjective, “further” means “additional or more.” Here’s an example: “Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to send us an email.” The use of further here means that you are referring to additional questions that your readers might have.

As a general rule, when no notion of distance is involved, we use further in the sentence.


When used as an adjective, farther means “at or to a greater distance.” This is used for sentences that involve a physical distance. For example: “The truck is farther up the woods by now.”

When used as an adverb, farther would now mean that the action has resulted in greater distance. For example: “I didn’t realize that I ran up the hill farther than anyone else.

How To Avoid The Further Vs Farther Error

Among the biggest errors in English language is misunderstanding the meaning of further and farther. These words have similar meanings, and it can be hard to tell whether one is correct or not. The two words are interchangeable, and they have been used interchangeably for a long time. However, further is usually preferred over farther, especially in British English.

The further vs farther error can be avoided by understanding the differences between the two words. Both words refer to a distance, and further is an adjective, while farther is an adverb. These words can be used interchangeably, but there are rules to follow when it comes to using each one.

Further is an adjective, and it is often used to describe a figurative or metaphorical distance. This is because further means “more of something”. It is also used to describe an extent of time or work, or the amount of something that is added to something else. However, farther is the more common word used for physical distance. This is because farther means “more of a physical distance”.

Further is also an adverb. It means “more of something”. It can be used in place of farther in some situations, but in other cases, it is more appropriate to use farther.

Another reason farther is better than further is because the latter word means “more of a physical distance”. In some instances, a distance is actually figurative. For example, a protagonist may be progressing faster than expected because he is progressing metaphorically. In this case, the word “further” is better than “further”. Further is also used to describe a figurative distance in terms of pages. However, it is important to understand that further is a word that can mean more or less than farther, and that it has several meanings in various parts of speech.

Further and farther were originally synonymous. However, farther is now used as an adverb and an adjective, while further is still used as an adjective. Further is used for figurative and metaphorical distances, while farther is used for a physical or temporal distance. There are some cases when further is more appropriate than farther, but for the most part, further is used more often.

Further is an adjective, and it means “more of a physical distance”. However, farther is also an adjective, and it means “more of something”. It is also useful to describe an extent of time or work, as well as the amount of something that is added to something. In most cases, further is used to describe a physical or temporal distance, while farther is used to describe a figurative or metaphysical distance.

Further and farther are very similar, and both words have been used interchangeably for centuries. However, there are many different usage guides that recommend using farther for a literal or physical distance, and further for a figurative or metaphysical one. Some publications will also refuse to use both words.

Regardless of the rules, it is important to understand the difference between further and farther, as these words can be confusing. This article will help you determine whether one word is more appropriate than the other in different situations.

Further vs Farther Examples

Now that we have discussed how each should be used in a sentence let’s take on more examples.

I need to take more online courses to further/farther my skills.

Right: I need to take more online courses to further my skills.
Wrong: I need to take more online courses to farther my skills.

In the sentence above, further should be used because you are advancing your skills.

William has to travel further/farther up north if he wants to start a new life.

Right: William has to travel farther up north if he wants to start a new life.
Wrong: William has to travel further up north if he wants to start a new life.

Since we are talking about a physical distance, farther should be used in this sentence.

Let’s stop the motor unless we want to do any farther/further damage.

Right: Let’s stop the motor unless we want to do any further damage.
Wrong: Let’s stop the motor unless we want to do any farther damage.

We’re talking about avoiding any additional damage in the sentence, which is why we use further.


Is it Further or Farther down the road?

As Farther is referenced as physical distance and Further is referenced as symbolic distance, the sentence would be constructed like this: “The well is farther down the road”.

Does money go further or farther?

When you’re using your money economically to buy things, you use the word further to construct. Example: Your credit card has reached the limit, do not spend any further money. When you use your money to represent physical distance, the word farther is used. Example: “Just throw this money receipt farther into the ocean”.


While they are used interchangeably nowadays, further vs. farther should be used differently. It’s essential to know the difference because these are used in professional and formal settings.

As a general rule, if there is no notion of distance in the sentence, you should use “further”. It also helps to replace further with “additional” or “more” to check if the sentence sounds right! You can post questions about simple distinction, clearer distinctions, aforementioned distinction, their history of usage, usage guidance or usage guide, metaphorical distance, literal distance or anything you would know in the box below.

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