Could someone please help me to choose the right word?

The Ice-cream shop is a few steps further/away.

  • Both farther and away are fine in this particular sentence. Note that you can also use both: the ice cream shop is a few steps farther away. In some cases, that's even more idiomatic that either word on its own. – Jason Bassford Apr 20 '19 at 1:11

I'm assuming this is for a test. Unless there is some additional context, you should choose "away" because you are likely being tested on your understanding of 'further' VS 'farther'. There are several online tutorials that explain the difference.

Farther is restricted to distance while further deals with the more abstract sense of "more of something."

However, this is one of many "rules" of English that in many cases are not really rules. While 'farther' does measure distance, 'further' can be (and regularly is) used to indicate more travel, overlapping with distance.

One place where you cannot (correctly) use 'further' in place of 'farther' is in the comparative. For example in the sentence: "LA is much farther away from Chicago than New York" we need the comparative adjective form of 'far' which is 'farther'.

When used as an adverb, however, both are normally justifiable.

"I will walk 5 miles farther." (more distance) "I will walk 5 miles further." (more walking)

Some grammar authorities are more prescriptive as to what is acceptable, but others, such Oxford's online dictionary are accepting of either in most cases, as they would in your example.

Grammar textbooks and tests, however, are often more prescriptive.

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