Commonly Confused Words: Further Versus Farther

 

Further and farther are two words that are often confused. However, there is an easy way to discern the difference between these two similarly sounding words. Further indicates figurative distance, while farther indicates physical distance.

 

If you want to go further in achieving your goals, sometimes you may actually have to go physically farther depending on your goal. Let’s consider a weight loss goal as an example for discerning the difference between these two commonly confused words. You may have to walk farther each day to go further as you strive to lose that extra ten pounds.

 

Another example of a commonly used phrase is “until further notice.” In this example, the status remains the same until something else is stated. Further indicates additional in this instance. New information will be given at a later date; until such time, the status of whatever preceded the further notice will remain the same.

 

Further is often used to share additional information; in this instance, further could be replaced with additionally. Furthermore, you might also find that furthermore and further are used to mean additionally. However, farther does not indicate that there is additional information. In sum, going the figurative distance requires further progress in your goals, while reaching a distance that is farther away requires a physical commitment to move an additional distance.