- Do you live far from your work?
- This coffee is far better than that one.
Exercise - If you think further / farther in these sentences is about distance, click on 'Yes'. If you think it's about amount, quantity or degree, click on 'No'.
|1.||How much farther is it to the station?|
|2.||We will have to give this matter further attention.|
|3.||David agrees with Peter, but goes even further than him.|
|4.||Come on. It's not much further, and then we'll be home.|
|5.||I don't want to talk about this any further.|
|6.||The plan has been so successful, we want to take it even further.|
|7.||Our new house is further from the school than the old one.|
|8.||So without further ado, I would like to start the meeting.|
|9.||Nothing could have been further from my mind.|
|10.||It was farther than we thought, and we arrived rather late.|
|11.||So that's decided then; no further discussion is necessary.|
|12.||I got no further than the corner when I realised I'd left my umbrella.|
The debate begins
Divergence of usage
My tip - forget farther
- He would do anything to further his career
- Violent demonstrations are not going to further our cause.
One man's (or woman's) whim
- Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary - notes that further as a comparative of far (for distance) is used especially in British English.
- Merriam-Webster - look at the usage notes, but remember this is an American dictionary. Look in their entry on further and you'll see that their examples cover both uses.
- Daily Writing tips - generally sound - puts forward both sides of the argument, but although quoting Etymology Online, it's own etymology seems a bit shaky.
- HubPages - makes the standard American differentiation, but see what he says about Merriam-Webster
- GrammarGirl - talks about 'careful' writers making the distinction. But like with so many of these usage disputes, it's not that the the rest of us are 'careless'; we simply believe we have a choice.
- English Plus - makes the distance / amount differentiation without any discussion, as though it's a solid rule. Which it isn't.
- Online Etymology Dictionary - further (see also their entry for farther)
- Terry Watt - very detailed analysis, put in here only as a reference.