“Farther” or “Further?”

Should I Use “Farther” or “Further?”

The words farther and further are often used interchangeably based on what rolls off the tongue more nicely. Most of the time, it is not terrible grammar to use these two words in this way, but it is widely accepted by grammarians that the two words are slightly different. It is argued that farther should be used to refer to physical distance, as in “I thought his house was farther down the street than this,” and that further should be used to mean ‘to a greater extent or degree,’ as in “We didn’t talk about the topic much further than that.”

There is a case in which farther is ungrammatical and in which further must be used; only further can be used as a verb, as in “Her main ambition right now is to further her career.” To say that someone wants to farther her career is not grammatical.

Jake Magnum, author of the Magnum Proofreading Blog, is dedicated to helping writers perfect their work. In addition to giving free advice on his blog, Jake helps writers by offering very affordable proofreading services at magnumproofreading.com.

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