Can you explain me what's difference between further and far? I was searching for an answer but I only I only have found farther vs further.

  • I can't cite ran lower to the ground vs ran low to the ground as the duplicate here, because it has no upvotes. But this is essentially the same issue - further is "comparative" (so there's probably some contextually relevant distance that's not so far), whereas far is a simple adjective (the distance being referred to is a long way [off], regardless of whether anything else is closer or more distant). Dec 11 '19 at 18:34

'Far' is an adjective meaning 'at a great distance'; farther and further are comparative forms of 'far', meaning 'at a greater distance'. American English prefers farther for physical distances, and further when talking about figurative distances: New York is farther from me than London; for some time I have been reducing the amount of meat that I eat, but now I have gone further and stopped altogether. Farther is rare in British English, where further is used for both meanings.


Let's compare the words by considering uses of the word "further" in its entry at Merriam-Webster. Which of these could be replaced by "far"?

Adverb senses

1: FARTHER sense 1: My ponies are tired, and I have further to go.

2: to a greater degree or extent: We were further annoyed by a second intrusion.

3: in addition : MOREOVER: Further, there are aurochs, red deer, wild boar, and large quantities of hare or rabbit.

Sense 1 would allow the word "far" with almost the same meaning. The difference would be that the word "further" suggests the idea that the speaker has already traveled, and must travel still more. A speaker who had not already traveled might say that he had far to go, but not that he had further to go.

Senses 2 and 3 would not allow the substitution of the word "far."

Adjective senses

1: FARTHER sense 1: We rode farther across the valley and up the further slopes.

2: going or extending beyond : ADDITIONAL: further volumes, further education

Again, the idea of literal distance in sense 1 would allow the word "far" instead, with the same distinction as before.

But we would not replace "further" in sense 2 with "far," and say "far volumes" to mean "still more volumes."

Verb senses

furthered; furthering\ ˈfərt͟h-​riŋ , ˈfər-​t͟hə-​ \ Definition of further (Entry 3 of 3) transitive verb

: to help forward : PROMOTE Other Words from further

None of these verb senses could be captured in the word "far."

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