Main Difference – Farther vs Further
Farther and further are two words which are often used interchangeably. However, there is a slight difference between father and further. The main difference between farther and further is that farther is mainly used with physical distances whereas further is used with non-physical or figurative distances.
Farther – Meaning and Usage
Farther is an adjective and adverb meaning ‘at, to, or by a great distance’. Farther is always used to indicate a physical distance. It is always used with units of distance such as miles, meters, kilometers, yards, leagues, etc. That is, if you are wondering how many kilometers or miles you have to travel in order to reach your destination, you might ask something like, “how much farther do I have to go?” Look at the examples below and observe how further has been used in them.
How much further? – Just two more miles.
How much farther to the railways station?
He had not gone farther than to the post office when he realized that he was not wearing socks.
She heard a voice farther down the hall.
She tried to hide, moving farther into the corner.
Further – Meaning and Usage
Further also refers to a distance. But this distance is not a physical one; rather, it is a figurative or non-physical distance. Further is used with concepts like effort and time. This is the more common word of the two and is used in a variety of situations.
I decided to stay further two weeks.
She promised to do it without further delay.
He felt that there was no use trying any further.
Before going any further, let’s discuss our terms and conditions.
It is also important to notice that further can also be used to indicate physical distances, just like farther. For example, observe the meaning of the two sentences below.
He moved further down the lane.
He moved farther down the lane.
There is no difference between the meaning of these two sentences since both farther and further give out the meaning ‘at, to, or by a great distance’. Therefore, it is evident that further can also be used to indicate physical distances as well as metaphorically distances. Further has become more common in usage than farther due to these dual meanings. If you are not sure whether the distance indicated is physical or non-physical, it is always safer to stick with further.
The boundary between physical and nonphysical distance might overlap in some cases. For instance, if we are talking about a book, (“I’m further along in my book than you are!”) a question might arise whether we are talking about the number of pages or the story. If we are referring to the number of pages, farther can be used, but if we are referring to the story, further should be used.
Difference Between Farther and Further
Farther is used with physical distance.
Further is mainly used with is used with figurative or metaphorical distance.
Farther cannot be used to indicate a figurative distance.
Further can be used to indicate a figurative distance.
Farther can be only used with physical distance.
Further can be used with both physical and non-physical distance.
Farther is used as an adverb and adjective.
Further is used as an adverb, adjective, and a verb.