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Is it further or farther?

Knowing when to use further or farther isn't always easy to remember. It is something I double-check every time I encounter it.


Like with amount and number, further or farther usage depends on whether you can count the distance or not: 'farther is for physical distance and further is for figurative distance' (Merriam-Webster).


Now comes the twist.

Farther is becoming outdated as most people do not know the distinction between the two. I had a discussion with a fellow editor a few weeks back, and she said,

Some people are keen on keeping the distinction between the two, but I think that many people are unaware of this 'rule', so its use will fade away: 'further' will be used more in future, and 'farther' less.

The Cambridge Dictionary and the Oxford Dictionary state that there is no difference in meaning between the two but that farther cannot be used in certain instances, so if you want to be on the safe side, always go with further.


So, whether to go with further or fathers depends on your preferences.


If you'd like to follow the rules stating there is a difference, check whether what you're referring to is measurable. If it is, go with farther; if not, go with further.

If you're happy to accept there is no difference, all you have to remember is always to use further.


I hope this post was useful! Let me know in the comment section if you have any questions or comments regarding the subject.

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