Farther and Further - What is the difference?

In regard to spelling, these two words are so similar. There’s just a slight difference because of the two letters ‘a’ and ‘u’. But that ‘slight difference’ cause us a lot of trouble to tell the differences between Farther and Further.


Farther /ˈfɑːr.ðɚ/ is the comparative form of far. It can be an adjective or an adverb.

1 Farther as an adjective

» A greater distance from something

How to use

  • We use farther before a noun to refer to the distance away from the speaker.


    • Can you see the farther village?
    • Look at that farther tree on the peak of the mountain!

  • We use farther + than to compare the two distances.


    • It’s farther to go from my house to school than to go to the mall.

2 Farther as an adverb

» To a greater distance

How to use

  • We only use farther in active voice.
  • Add than after farther if you want to compare two distances.


    • I can’t go any farther.
    • We have walked farther than we thought.


Like farther, further /ˈfɝː.ðɚ/ is also a comparative form of far. Further can be an adjective, a verb or an adverb.

1 Further as an adjective

» At a greater distance

How to use

  • As an adjective, further can be used to refer to the distance away from the speaker.


    • I found these seashells at the further shore of the beach.

  • We use further + than to compare the two distances.


    • It’s further to go to the village than I remembered.

» Extra, additional or at a higher level

How to use

  • We use further before a noun to mean extra, additional or at a higher level’.


    • We need further explanation for this problem.
    • This issue is confidential, I can’t give you further information.

2 Further as a verb

» To develop or make progress in sth

How to use

  • Further is a transitive verb. Be sure to follow it with an object.


    • You need to work hard to further your career.

3 Further as an adverb

» To a greater distance or degree

How to use

  • We only use further in active voice
  • Add than after further if you want to compare two distances.


    • I can’t go any further.
    • We have walked further than we thought.

Differences between Farther and Further

1 Word class

Both farther and further are comparative forms of far. They can be used as adjective or adverb.

However, further is also a verb, while farther is not.


2 Meanings

In this section, I mention farther and further as an adjective/ adverb.

We can use either farther or further when we refer to ‘a greater distance’. Anyways, further is more common than farther.


    • Can you see the farther village?

        = Can you see the further village?

    • I can’t walk further as I’m too tired.

        = I can’t walk farther as I’m too tired.

When talking about ‘a greater degree, a higher or more advanced level’, we can only use further.


    • Let’s discuss this plan further.

     => Let’s discuss this plan farther.

    • Her parents can’t afford further education for her.

     => Her parents can’t afford farther education for her

Further can be used in formal letters or emails with the expression further to when you are writing the follow-up of the previous letters/ emails.


    • Further to my email of the previous week, I am now writing to ask if you can arrange a meeting with me to discuss our business.  

Pop quiz

Take these short quiz to make sure that you have understood the differences between Farther and Further.

Fill in the blank, farther or further?

  1. Farther/ Further to my letter of Monday, I am writing to thank you for your consideration.
  2. I wish to have the chance to travel farther/ further and farther/ further to know more about the world.
  3. He is not qualified for farther/ further education.
  4. Have we walked farther/ further enough?
  5. If you want to farther/ further your career, don’t be lazy.



2. farther – farther/ further – further

3. further

4. farther/ further

5. further

That’s the end of my blog about the differences between Farther and Further. If you want to learn more about confusing words in English, download FREE eJOY Confusing Words ebook right now!

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