1

In American English, "farther" is differentiated from "father" by the middle R, but I am talking about the British English in which the R's are only pronounced before vowels because so many "British English" varieties do pronounce the R.

I checked the pronunciations of the word "father" and "farther" in some dictionaries and they suggest that they are pronounced the same.

Cambridge Dictionary gives /ˈfɑː.ðə/ for both "father" and "farther" in British English pronunciation. Also I can't differentiate between both of them when I listen to Cambridge pronunciations.

Do British people pronounce them exactly the same?

3
  • 3
    I pronounce them identically. – Colin Fine Dec 6 '20 at 14:00
  • 4
    They're identical for me too, but I might pronounce 'father' with a short vowel at times. The long vowel in 'farther' results from the deletion of the underlying R. (You don't need to write the superscript r.) – Void Dec 6 '20 at 14:07
  • 1
    Phonemically they are identical. Phonetically I wouldn't be surprised if farther turns out to have a slightly longer vowel if you looked at hundreds of real-life examples (as you can do with a corpus), since it's the less frequent meaning of the homophone.. – legatrix Dec 6 '20 at 14:10
3

My father is farther than my mother.

The consensus in the comment is that they are pronounced the same, or at least there is no phonemic difference.

Phonemically they are identical. Phonetically I wouldn't be surprised if farther turns out to have a slightly longer vowel if you looked at hundreds of real-life examples (as you can do with a corpus), since it's the less frequent meaning of the homophone.. – legatrix

Note that in British English you can use "further" for the "more distant" meaning instead of "farther" (AmE tends to use farther for physical distance and further for non-physical, as in "further from the truth")

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.