Further or Farther?

Being a blogger I write many words during the course of a year and in daily life speak even more. I have always been interested in learning new words and using them correctly. It’s always a challenge as often we hear and see words used incorrectly, even by those we might think would know better. This has encouraged me to write, not just today but also in the future more posts about words and their meaning and use.

In this post, we start with when to use further or farther.

Further or Farther?

These are 2 words that get interchanged quite regularly in everyday speech. In addition, there is furthest and farthest. How can we know which word to use when both seem to indicate distance?

Well, firstly, take a look at the difference in spelling, particularly the first 3 letters. The second spelling includes the word ‘far’ which we associate with distance as in travel. Due to this in American English, Farther and Farthest tend to be used when comparing physical distances as in, ‘the farthest planet from the sun’.  Whereas, further and furthest are used to compare figurative and non-physical differences, for example, “this is the furthest this stock has ever risen”.

In the UK, the two words, according to the English Oxford LIving Dictionary are both correct and fully interchangeable so there is no need worry. Just use the word that is common in the sense that you are using it or sounds better when you say it.

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