Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Grammar-licious: Making Grammar Fun - June

Further versus Farther

Are you challenged to know which is right when you have to choose between further and farther? If so, hopefully I can help by the end of this post.

If something is physically distanced from you, it is “farther” away. Key off far, or the “a” to remind you of “area” (physical distance).

Whereas, when an object is figuratively or metaphorically distanced, it is “further.” You can use the “u” to remind you of “understanding” (metaphorical distance, ‘further’ your point).

I find examples to be the best teacher, so here we go.

Correct:
Before we go any further, are there any questions?

How much farther is the resort?

The couple hopes stock prices go further into the green before the end of the year.

She could see better the farther she walked toward the edge of the forest.

He didn’t allow any further discussion on the topic after the bell rang.

She ran farther than anyone thought possible.

I hope she will further her education with college after high school.


There are always exceptions, right? Here you go.

The two words are used interchangeably quite often, but if the usage isn’t referring to a physical distance, you’re safe with further.

I’m further/farther along with the class assignment than you are.

I like finding ways to remember the ‘rules’ and hope you can find something helpful. It’s my hope the monthly grammar techniques and usage examples will make grammar a lot less frightening and potentially enjoyable (can you imagine?) for you.

If you have grammar topics you’d like to see covered, please leave a comment or email me!

And that wraps up this lesson. I have one further item to add.

This month’s recommended grammar book is: A Grammar Book for You and I (Oops, Me) - C. Edward Good

BIO: Lisa J. Jackson (aka Lisa Haselton) is a self-employed writer and editor. Stop by her site at http://lisajjackson.com, or follow her on twitter for twice-a-week ‘Edible Grammar Bites’ at http://twitter.com/LisaJJackson.

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