Further Vs. Farther

Because I actually had to look this up to check myself on a novel I’m editing today, I thought it would make a good grammar hints blog post.

When do you use further and when do you use farther?

It’s super easy, if you can remember it… I just can’t seem to remember it!

Okay, farther means distance. How far? When there is a measurable distance, you would ask:

“How much farther until we get to town?”

If it means distance, use ‘far’ther.

If it’s more figurative, metaphorical, etc, and it can’t be measured in distance, then you would use further instead.

For example:

“How much further do you think John can push the boss before he explodes?”

Since John isn’t literally pushing the boss inch by inch to move him physically, but rather a metaphorical ‘shove’, then further is your word of choice.

Of course, don’t forget instances when ‘further’ can mean other things too. Farther will always mean distance, but further can mean other things, such as:

I want to check on that. Further, I’d like to check on this too.

But honestly, who really talks like that anyway?

Quoth the rave, “Furthermore…”

Oh, wait, that’s nevermore.

Luke, I am your further.

Nah.

See, farther vs. further is really easy!

Now, if I could just remember that!