Farther vs. Further

Does this hat make me look fat?

Farther. Further. Some of the confusion here must surely originate from various American regional dialects: “Yup, that there cement pond is a fur piece down the road.” But we shall overcome, with help.

FARTHER denotes physical advancement in distance. Farther is literal. It exists in space.

FURTHER denotes advancement to a greater degree, as in time. Further is figurative.

Here’s how to remember the difference. Lop “ther” off and see what you’re left with: an object is far in the distance. It is not fur in the distance — unless you’re talking about roadkill.

Or whip out the adverb “furthermore” (which means “besides” or “in addition,” regarding ideas, not distance). Furthermore, “farthermore” isn’t a word, which will also help you keep them straight.


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