Know your words

Farther / Further

Know Your Words

For the second year in a row, the winner of the most often misused word in 2017 noted in my reading was further to mean farther.


Farther should have to do with distance in space, time, or divergence (farther down the road, farther back in time, farther from his mind) while further can act as an adverb (if we further continue this line of observation), an adjective (he received further education), or a verb (you further your chances of winning the lottery if you buy a ticket).

Note the various uses of farther and further in the following dialogue:

“Let’s discuss this further as we walk farther into the lab,” Tom said.Time is of the essence, and the farther behind we get in our research, the less chance we have to further our careers at this institution.”

“And here I was thinking that there was nothing farther from your mind than work this weekend,” Susan replied. “I guess I’ll just have to spend a little time getting further acquainted with you if I want to stay a step farther ahead.”

REMEMBER: Farther contains the word far and relates to distance.

© 2016, 2018 Ann Henry. All Rights Reserved.

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