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A man further down the beach yelled at me.

Is 'further' acceptable here or should it be 'farther'?

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I hear both, but I'd use 'farther' just to be safe.

See the usage guide at

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/further

As I read it, both 'further' and 'farther' are OK in your sentence.

CJ

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anonymous'further'

This is the only choice in British English.

An example from the Cambridge Dictionary (British English):

Ben Gunn had told me his boat was hidden near the white rock, and I found that rock farther along the beach.

I don't see much difference between farther along and farther down (the beach).

Why can't you have farther down in British English?

CJ

CalifJimAn example from the Cambridge Dictionary (British English):Ben Gunn had told me his boat was hidden near the white rock, and I found that rock farther along the beach.

That's not recent writing. Since at least the 1960s, I've only heard further used in the UK. Farther is noticeable in American media where it stands out with other American term like drug instead of dragged.

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anonymousSince at least the 1960s, I've only heard further used in the UK.

I'm surprised to hear that because the Google Ngrams Viewer shows nearly the same profile for both varieties of English for the use of 'further' and 'farther' with no particularly obvious inflection point at 1960. However, this application only deals with written language, of course.

https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=farther%3Aeng_us_2019%2Cfarther%3Aeng_gb_2019%2Cfurther%3Aeng_us_2019%2Cfurther%3Aeng_gb_2019&year_start=1800&year_end=2019&corpus=28&smoothing=3&direct_url=t1%3B%2Cfarther%3Aeng_us_2019%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfarther%3Aeng_gb_2019%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfurther%3Aeng_us_2019%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfurther%3Aeng_gb_2019%3B%2Cc0#t1%3B%2Cfarther%3Aeng_us_2019%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfarther%3Aeng_gb_2019%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfurther%3Aeng_us_2019%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Cfurther%3Aeng_gb_2019%3B%2Cc0

CJ