Knowing the Difference: Further vs. Farther

Another quick grammar tip for you today!

Something I notice often is a misuse of the words farther and further.

According to Merrium Webster Dictionary, throughout most of their history, further and farther have been used almost interchangeably. However, within the past decade or so, there has been a shift in meaning.

Farther is taking over the meaning of distances <that’s farther away than I thought>, whereas further is taking on the meaning of addition <we can further refine our equation>.

See further examples below:

Farther refers to a physical distance. An actual, measurable distance.
Example: Chicago is farther from Texas than Oklahoma is.

Further is used when there is no notion of distance.
Example: I don’t want to discuss this any further.

Further is also used as a sentence modifier: Further, the prices continued to rise. Farther is never used to modify a sentence in this way.

Keep this in mind the next time you’re writing! What a difference one letter can make.

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