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How to Use Farther and Further Correctly

How much farther is the restaurant?

How much further would you go?

I would go even farther if I had to.

I would pursue my studies further if I had to.

The farther I travelled, the less I think of coming back.

The further my mind travelled, the more I think of coming back.

The above are six examples of sentences using the terms farther and further correctly. If you had no clue that there was a difference between the terms, or if you had always used those terms intuitively, then this post is for you. Using farther and further correctly solidifies your communication skills to convey your ideas/knowledge effectively to your global audience.

Before we delve deeper, let me give you four more examples.

He went farther in his career after he accepted the promotion.

His life dwindled farther downhill when he started gambling.

She could have gone farther with the case if time had permitted.

She could have gone further if her heels hadn’t broke on the pebbled pavement.

Now, with 10 examples behind us, let’s delve in this topic of getting our usage of ‘farther’ and ‘further’ right!

First and foremost we must know that both ‘farther’ and ‘further’ are adjectives and can be used to describe distance. The small difference is that ‘farther’ is used to describe physical distance, while ‘further’ is more suitably used to describe non-physical distance for example further one’s study, asking further questions or listening to further reviews.

Furthermore, (yes, furthermore describes non-physical distance) the term ‘further’ can be used not just as an adjective, but also as a verb. With this understanding, using ‘further’ for non-physical distance becomes more natural, logical and intuitive.

She furthered her studies at Oxford University.

In the sentence above, it is easy to misundertand that the word ‘further’ is used to describe the physical distance of Oxford University because we live in Malaysia. But what if the sentence was structured this way:

She furthered her studies at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

In this sentence, we are more inclined to understand that ‘further’ here means ‘melanjutkan pelajaran’ and has nothing to do with the distance of the location. This small understanding is key in knowing the difference between ‘farther’ and ‘further’ for us to be able to communicate effectively.

So, how much further are you willing to read?

I will end this post as shortly as possible because this is just one of the instances where one could benefit better by asking further questions. So feel free to drop a question in the Comment section below or reply to my email if you subscribe to The Baini Mustafa Weekly Email. If you would like to subscribe, you can do that here as I share more things with my email subscribers where I don’t share anywhere else!

One question from me to you though, did you realise that the extra four examples I gave in the middle of this post was wrong? If you did, let me know because I have a surprise for you!

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