A Grammar Rule – Farther vs Further

Although that movie theater is further away from my house, it is nicer and will have the new Hobbit movie in HFR 3D. Or is it farther away from my house? I need to figure out this grammar rule quickly because The Desolation of Smaug is opening soon …

Have you ever had a serious grammar dilemma like this involving further and farther? If so, then read on and find out which one it’s supposed to be.

How much farther do we have to walk until we reach Erebor?

Who do you think walked farther – the Fellowship of the Ring or Thorin Oakenshield’s company?

Farther is used for a measurable physical distance, such as how far it is to walk to Erebor or Mount Doom. A good way to remember this is that the word used for physical distance has the word “far” in it.

If you are looking for someone who knows how to read moon runes, look no further than Lord Elrond himself.

Here, we’re not talking about a physical distance. We’re talking about a figurative, non-physical one. So for figurative distances, you should use further.

Upon further reflection, Bilbo remembered Gandalf, the wizard.

Also use further when meaning more or additional.

Wishing to further Frodo’s success, eight more members joined the Fellowship.

And finally, further can mean to help forward, advance, or promote a work, undertaking, or cause.

So to answer my original question about the movie theater, since I was talking about an actual physical distance, I would use farther in my sentence.

Hope this post cleared up some of the confusion surrounding these two words! Here are two articles that were helpful to me while writing this post:

http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/education/grammar/further-versus-farther

http://www.dailywritingtips.com/farther-vs-further/

~ Kayla

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