A common error is in the use of farther and further. We often see one word written for the other. This confusion between the two words is understandable since – one, they are both related to distance; and two, their spellings are similar. Care should be taken when using these words since there is a difference between the two.
First, the similarity – they are both the comparative form of “far”.
Farther is the comparative form of “far” when referring to distance. For example:
His house is farther than John’s.
Which is farther – the school or the museum?
In both these examples, farther is referring to distance. That is, which place is at a greater distance.
Further is the comparative form of “far” when referring to advancement to a greater degree. For example:
He decided to go ahead with the plan without any further delay.
The boss wanted no further discussion on the topic.
Here further refers to a greater degree, or quantity.
So, the difference is this – whereas farther is used for physical distance, further is used for non-physical distance.
Do you know of any other difference (or similarity) between the two words?