further vs farther

What is the difference?

definition: at, to, or by a greater distance (used to indicate the extent to which one thing or person is or becomes distant from another).
  1. for some time I had wanted to move further from London
  2. the EU seems to have moved further away from the original aims
at a greater distance, more distant, farther
definition: at, to, or by a great distance (used to indicate the extent to which one thing is distant from another)
  1. the house was not too far away
  2. the mountains far in the distance glowed in the sun
a long way, a great distance, a good way, afar

further vs farther

There is a difference between farther and further, but don’t worry, wonder no further – you won’t have to travel any farther than here to find out what that is.

Have you ever written an essay and used either farther or further... and wondered about the differences? Maybe you thought there were two ways to spell the same word, like when you spell color and colour. Don't worry. Keep reading, and we'll explain.

1. further


Further is used for a figurative distance. This is a symbolic distance that you can’t measure with a ruler. You might say something like; I made it no further than level two of the game. Further can also be used as a synonym for “in addition to.”


Examples for further

Do you have any further questions?

Further details are available at the check-in desk.

You will not be paid for any further work.

2. farther


Farther is used to measure physical distance. This is the actual distance between things or the measurable distance.

  • Go no farther than this.
  • It’s within the lines, no farther.

Examples for farther

She realized she had swum farther away than she intended.

The blue car was parked farther away than the red one.

They couldn’t run any farther that day.

Takeaways - Tips

Quick tips to further your knowledge


While it’s not technically incorrect to use further for everything, any usage guide of Modern English will tell you that you should use it for physical distances. For figurative distances, you should use further.

Further Usages

Further has many other correct usages.

  • As a verb form: “I want to further your cause.”
  • As an adverbial definition: “Further, let’s do the second one too.”

Bottom line

If you’re in doubt, you can go with further. But it'll sound a little weird if you’re talking about literal distances. Farther is for physical distance.


When to use further?

When to use farther?

How to remember further vs. farther

Commonly Confusing Words

Spell checkers don't always have you covered. Sometimes your word might be spelled correctly, but it could be the wrong word. In English, there are lots of confusing terms that look alike but are spelled differently, and many terms that mean the same thing but are easily misused.

Here are the most commonly confusing word pairings, with definitions and examples of their usage.

Check it out!