# When To Use Further Vs Farther?

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Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting this question separately.
Do you have an easy way for me to remember when to use further vs farther?
I can look it up each time but that's not the point of common english usage.
Do you have a simple way for me to remember the difference between:

"I can throw a ball further than you can."
"I can throw a ball farther than you can."
Is there a readily rememberable method to discern the distinction between further and farther?
Angela
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Angela formerly of Intel & Moto, Chandler, AZ wrote on 26 Jul 2004:
Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting this question separately. Do you have an easy way for ... a ball farther than you can." Is there a readily rememberable method to discern the distinction between further and farther?

"Farther" is all about physical distance, so your second example sentence above is correct and your first is incorrect.

"Further" is about figurative (metaphorical) distance. Eg,

A: How far would you walk for a Camel?
B: I'd walk a mile for a Camel.
C: How far did she go for that Camel?
D: She went all the way, which is further than you've ever gone for a Camel.
C: Right. I prefer Lucky Strikes myself.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
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Angela formerly of Intel & Moto, Chandler, AZ wrote on 26 Jul 2004:

Is there a readily rememberable method to discern the distinction between further and farther?

"Farther" is all about physical distance, so your second example sentence above is correct and your first is incorrect.

Most, if not all, dictionaries will allow "further" as a synonym of "farther" and vice versa. It's true that "farther" is more likely to be associated with figurative distance, and "further" with metaphorical distances, but it's by no means a hard and fast rule.

Considering you just allowed that "alright" was "an acceptable and idiomatic adverb", I'm kinda surprised you'd be so black & white about this.
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Angela formerly of Intel & Moto, Chandler, AZ wrote on ... example sentence above is correct and your first is incorrect.

Most, if not all, dictionaries will allow "further" as a synonym of "farther" and vice versa. It's true that "farther" is more likely to be associated with figurative distance,

Bleh, make that "physical".
Btw, there are some cases where "farther" is not used, e.g.

"Further to my previous post etc. etc."
"Can you raise the temperature any further?"
I don't believe it's ever incorrect to use 'further' for physical distances though.
Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting this question separately. Do you have an easy way for me to remember when to use further vs farther?

I avoid the problem by simply never using 'farther'. It isn't needed, it looks like 'father', plus it is harder to pronounce. My main reason though is that 'further' always works, making 'farther' superfluous.

Charles Riggs
Angela formerly of Intel & Moto, Chandler, AZ wrote on 26 Jul 2004:

Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting ... rememberable method to discern the distinction between further and farther?

"Farther" is all about physical distance, so your second example sentence above is correct and your first is incorrect. "Further" ... all the way, which is further than you've ever gone for a Camel. C: Right. I prefer Lucky Strikes myself.

"Furthermore, I wouldn't give you a Camel even if you were dying for one".
Mike

M.J.Powell
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Dylan Nicholson wrote on 26 Jul 2004:
Most, if not all, dictionaries will allow "further" as a ... "farther" is more likely to be associated with figurative distance,[/nq]Garner makes that physical/figurative distinction. He also says that in BrE, 'further' is used for both, but that's not the case for us linguisticially conservative AmE speakers. And for people who like to mmaintain distinctions even at the cost of being called discriminating pedants, there is no way that we will actually write 'further' for 'farther' for fear of being thought unable to distinguish between things which ought to be distinguished between.

We are not prepared to join The Club of the Mass of Mankind. If I were a professional singer, I wouldn't want to sing off key or out of tune, so why would as, as a writer or a speaker of English want to be Johnny One-Note? I leave that to the indiscriminate and claim that those who do not know the differences between one way of speaking and writing may not feel hurt by their ignorance, but that they certainly have no idea what they're missing by limiting themselves to the English of the lowest common denominator.

To wear the badge of mediocrity by choice is pathetic, not honorable. There's a difference between accepting one's limitations and limiting oneself for godknowswhat reasons.
Considering you just allowed that "alright" was "an acceptable and idiomatic adverb", I'm kinda surprised you'd be so black & white about this.

I made a distinction between formal written and informal written and spoken English. I happy to accept almost anything that communicates in informal brands of English, but I do have standards about formal English, even if they are sometimes in need of repair, replacement, or elimination.
Bleh, make that "physical". Btw, there are some cases where "farther" is not used, e.g. "Further to my previous post etc. etc." "Can you raise the temperature any further?"

Right, they are both figurative usages.
I don't believe it's ever incorrect to use 'further' for physical distances though.

Only in BrE, so that means you're right about Australian English.

Franke: EFL teacher & medical editor.
For email, replace numbers with English alphabet.
Angela formerly of Intel & Moto, Chandler, AZ wrote on 26 Jul 2004:

Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting ... rememberable method to discern the distinction between further and farther?

"Farther" is all about physical distance, so your second example sentence above is correct and your first is incorrect. "Further" ... all the way, which is further than you've ever gone for a Camel. C: Right. I prefer Lucky Strikes myself.

That is the usage manual rule. The present-day real English rule is that 'farther' and 'further' can both be used for literal distance, while only 'further' can be used for figurative distance. See http://www.bartleby.com/68/49/2449.html for a discussion. In real English you are safe ground if you simply restrict yourself ot 'further'. If you are concerned about molifying the prescriptivists, then follow the rule Franke gave.
Richard R. Hershberger
Charles Riggs filted:
Due to a typographical error on my part, I'm re-posting ... for me to remember when to use further vs farther?

I avoid the problem by simply never using 'farther'. It isn't needed, it looks like 'father', plus it is harder to pronounce. My main reason though is that 'further' always works, making 'farther' superfluous.

Then there's the problem of overeager censoring software masking a word that contains "fart"..
Since my neighbor Angela has started the ball rolling, I'll confess my own area of everlasting grammatical uncertainty: when do you use "forward" and when "forwards"?...r
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