Railway line

‘Farther’ or ‘further’?

Is there any difference between further and farther in the following two sentences?

She moved further down the train.

She moved farther down the train.

Both words share the same roots: in the sentences given above, where the sense is ‘at, to, or by a greater distance’, there is no difference in meaning, and both are equally correct. Further is a much more common word, though, and is additionally used in various abstract and metaphorical contexts, for example referring to time, in which farther is unusual, e.g.:

without further delay

Have you anything further to say?

We intend to stay a further two weeks.

The same distinction is made between farthest and furthest, e.g.:

the farthest point from the sun

The first team has gone furthest in its analysis.


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