18

Is there any difference in meaning between furthermore, and moreover?

In other words, can I easily replace these words with one another in any sentence, or should I do it carefully?

  • 6
    In matters like this, I'm often wary of saying "any" or "always". However, off the top of my head, I'd describe these two words as largely interchangeable. More often than not, I think that substitution could be made with no shift in meaning. But someone may be able to point out some exceptions, or a flaw in my initial assessment. – J.R. Feb 26 '13 at 9:11
21

Moreover and furthermore are essentially interchangeable synonyms. They're formal substitutes for additionally, also, as well, in addition to, likewise, and too. Those two words are common in academic prose, partially because writers don't combine sentences well or often enough, partly because they need to use them to keep their sentences short enough to read without causing reader fatigue, and partly because it's the easiest way of adding additional information. I try to eliminate as many instances of moreover and furthermore as possible, but it's sometimes impossible.

In addition, they emphasize the "too-ness" of what comes next: {Moreover/Furthermore}, Judge Jones owns stock in the defendant's company, so he should recuse himself from presiding over this case.

The one you use is pretty much a question of personal taste, but my rule of thumb is to put moreover first and furthermore second if the two appear in the same paragraph on in contiguous paragraphs. Others may have a different "rule", but I think it's strictly personal choice.

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5

Although these two adverbs are interchangeable, there are some subtle differences between them. Let's have a look at the examples below:

  1. The student's essay was badly written. Moreover, it was too short.

Using "moreover" we both add info and support our argument. In other words being "too short" is related to the "badly written essay" somewhat.

  1. Reading is an excellent way to increase your vocabulary. Furthermore, it can also help you improve your grammar.

We just add info. We don't indicate a relationship between "vocabulary" or "grammar".

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-1

Moreover is the statement of "over what I just told you" then the person then tells you what he means by that statement. Furthermore is proceeding from the sentence before that sentence. That's when you hope for the moreover statement after that.

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-2

Yes, there is a difference.

Furthermore is used to add another point or list item.

Moreover, on the other hand, not only adds another point but is always a persuasive term. Using it indicates that you are building up the argument (probably putting the finishing touches to it) and that you want to persuade the reader to agree with you. You are not unbiased and presenting an additional point, you are biased and want to convince.

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  • 1
    -1 Um, no. Everything you say about moreover can apply to furthermore. – GoDucks Jan 19 '16 at 0:05
-2

Not the same:

Furthermore is properly used, when there is need only to add one more reason to those before-mentioned; its intent is to multiply, and it has no relation but to number. Moreover is in its right place, when used, to add a reason of a different kind to those that went before; its chief office is to add with a particular respect to diversity.

John Trusler (1783), The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous in the English Language, p. 57

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  • 2
    This is from a source published in 1766, with no authority today and very little in its own day. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 17 '14 at 16:34
  • @StoneyB What is the source and why did they use commas so enthusiastically? I was going to edit them out, but decided not to in case it is accurately quoted. – ColleenV Nov 17 '14 at 18:39
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    @ColleenV John Trusler, The Distinction Between Words Esteemed Synonymous .... Commas were used more liberally in the 18th century than today, but this is extravagant even for then. Trusler appears to have been a real character. – StoneyB on hiatus Nov 17 '14 at 18:49

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