Welcome here dear reader! The English language is replete with several words which that look alike though sometimes not related. However, some of these words share a level of similarities. This post, How to Use Farther and Further with Examples, examines the correct usage of this pair.
How to Use Farther and Further with Examples
Before going into the explanations on how to correctly use farther and further, let us first check the meanings of these words…
Farther, as an adverb, means ‘to a greater distance; that is ‘to or at a point that is more distant in space or time or a more advanced point’. It also means ‘to a greater degree or extent’. As an adjective, it means ‘more distant’; that is ‘more distant in space or time’. It also means ‘additional’; that is, ‘adding to the quantity or extent of something’.
Examples of Farther in Sentences
- Nothing could be farther from the truth.
- She does not have to at any farther in the matter.
- How much farther do we have to go?
- They apart at the farther edge of the clearing.
- The man stepped away to be farther away from the culprit.
- He fell farther than he expected.
- The nearest petrol station was much farther than he thought.
- The released shark swam farther into the sea.
- The horseman rode farther and farther into the woods.
- As we retired, they advanced farther.
- The school will close until further notice.
- The publisher asked if the author had anything to add to the volume.
- Do you have anything further to say?
As an adverb, further has various shades of meaning. Firstly, it means ‘to greater distance’; that is to or at a point that is more distant in place or time. It also means ‘to greater extent’; that is, to a greater degree or extent. Further also means ‘in addition’; that is, we can use it to present an added statement or point. Let us exemplify these various definitions with some sentences:
Examples of Further in Sentences
- We need to look further into the future.
- There is a need to further break down the cost analysis.
- My ponies are tired, and I have further to go. (Thomas Hardy)
- Let’s not pursue the matter any further.
- He spoke further that the organisation would employ more staff.
- We shall require further supplies.
- The judge requested further information on the case.
- Late submission of forms will attract further charges.
- Her father had nothing further to add.
- It took a further two shots of anaesthesia to knock him off.
How to Use Farther and Further
We do not use farther and further interchangeably in all situations in modern usage. In situations and sentences involving physical distance, we use Farther as we have in the following examples:
- It is farther to Lagos from here than it is to Abuja.
- Seattle is farther than New York.
We can also use Further in this sense, as in:
- It is further to the sea than I thought.
- He went further down the road.
- They drove further into the city in search of fuel.
Time or Extent
When referring to time or extent, we use further. For instance:
- Further time is required to complete the task.
- The police have ordered further investigation.
- The teacher will shed further light on the subject.
We can use Further, unlike farther, as a verb to mean ‘to help the progress or development about’, as in:
- The action will further the cause of freedom.
- He could not further his studies due to paucity of funds.
- We raised money to further the cause of the less privileged in the society.
Difference between Further and Farther
Despite the fact that people often use further and farther somewhat interchangeably, the two words, in their usage, have different connotations. Whenever we make reference to distance in terms of space or time or even when we metaphorically imply distance, we use farther and further interchangeably, especially as adverbs. But when there is no notion of distance, we use further. Look at these instances:
- We can further enhance her skill.
We can use further as a sentence modifier; for instance:
- Further, the attendees were partly disillusioned
However, we cannot use farther in same context. A reversal seems to be happening in the use of further and farther as adjectives. Farther is taking on the meaning of distance as we have in the farther shore; while further is taking on the meaning of addition as in the guest speaker needed no further introduction.
Furthest and farthest
These two words behave similarly.
As an adverb, it refers to: ‘the greatest degree or extent than anything else’, ‘to or at the greatest distance in time or space than anything else; farthest’. As an adjective, it refers to the ‘most distant or remote in time or space, farthest.
- Pluto is presumably the furthest planet from the Sun. (adjective)
- Whoever gets the furthest wins the prize. (adverb)
- The Naira has fallen furthest against the Dollar in the last year. (adverb)
This is a related adjective to farther which means ‘most distant or remote’.
This post has examined How to Use Farther and Further with Examples. You will notice that despite the slight difference between the two words, they almost appear similar, especially in their definitions. There are other related posts that examine words that look alike that could confuse users of English. Do check out such posts:
- Believe vs belief
- Affect vs effect
- Imminent vs immanent
- Ingenious vs ingenuous
- Access, Assess, Accent and Ascent
- Academic vs Academia
- Elder vs older
- Aural vs oral