It’s easy to get words mixed up when the meanings are so similar. Take further and farther for example.
Both words refer to a greater distance. However, there is a bit more nuance to their definitions, and they are distinct words with different uses.
Farther refers to a physical and measurable distance. Further refers to a figurative distance.
Let’s take a deeper look at the meanings of farther and further and how to use them in sentences
Farther vs Further Definition
Further and farther are often used interchangeably because they can each be used as different parts of speech.
Farther refers to a physical distance that can be measured. It functions as an adverb and an adjective.
As an adverb, farther indicates something that is at a greater distance or at a more advanced point.
- He drove farther down the road.
As an adjective, farther describes something that is more distant compared to something else.
- We visited the restaurant at the farther end of the avenue because it was cheaper.
Further describes a greater figurative distance. It’s typically used when an actual measurement of the distance can’t be ascertained. It functions as an adverb, an adjective, and a verb.
As an adverb, further indicates an abstract distance.
- I can’t recall any further back than that.
As an adjective, further means additionally. When used as an adjective, further always comes before a noun.
- The judges gave no further details on why she was disqualified from the race.
As a verb, further refers to the action of helping to promote or move something forward.
- She furthered her drawing skills by practicing every day.
The Difference Between Farther vs Further
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, it wasn’t until the early 1900s that writers began distinguishing between further and farther.
But, nowadays, people do distinguish between the two words. Farther is used to reference a literal distance, while further is used to reference a figurative distance.
Is It Look No Further or Look No Farther?
The correct phrase is look no further. It means that what is being offered is the perfect solution.
Here, further acts as an adverb and refers to a figurative distance between what is being offered and the alternatives.
- For the freshest ingredients, look no further than your local fresh foods market.
Is It Further Along or Farther Along?
You can use either farther along or further along depending on the circumstance.
For example, if you asked, “How much further/farther do you have to read?” you could be referring to both the literal distance in terms of number of pages or the figurative distance in terms of amount of information.
Therefore, either further or farther can be used.
- I read further along in the book than the teacher recommended.
Is It Further Away or Farther Away?
The correct spelling is farther away because the phrase refers to a literal distance away.
- It’s farther away than I’d thought. (farther = at a greater physical distance)
Of course, ProWritingAid will always show you where you might have misspelled a word or phrase.
Farther vs Further Example Sentences
Now you know the rules, let’s look at the difference between farther and further in practice.
Examples of further in a sentence:
- He offered no further information, and she felt uncomfortable asking.
- Darian is grounded until further notice.
- In the week that followed, they drifted further apart.
- I need to take that extra course to further my education.
- He’ll do anything to further his career.
Examples of farther in a sentence:
- She fell farther than she expected.
- The farther north we go, the colder it gets.
- We will travel 10 miles farther on the highway, and then we will stop.
- The red car is farther away than the blue car.
- She refused to go one step farther until she had a drink.
Conclusion on Farther vs Further
Are you any further in understanding the difference between farther and further? All you need to remember is this:
- Farther refers to a greater physical distance that can be measured.
- Further refers to a greater distance that cannot be measured.
We recommend sticking to the distinct meanings of both words. However, if the context is unclear, it’s probably okay to use either one.