Choosing the Proper Word
I have a confession to make. As much as I harp about people learning the difference between here and hear, where and were, advice and advise, etc. there are some words that I can’t seem to keep straight.
My usual solution, if I can’t think how to spell a word or which word to use, is to just turn the sentence around and use a completely different word. But sometimes that’s difficult.
It’s always been easy to remember that a person could further their cause or further their education. But when I wanted to say someplace was farther from here than it was from there, I could never remember… is it farther or further.
That’s why I was tickled when I learned a simple trick to help me decide if I should say “further” or “farther.”
Further refers to a degree or an abstract quality; farther involves space or physical distance. The easiest way to remember which word to use is to think: “FAR” (as in “farther”) is for distance or space. If distance isn’t involved, use “further.”
Graphic courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net