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what's the difference between farther and further?



 
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what's the difference between farther and further? #1 (permalink) Wed Jun 18, 2008 13:52 pm   what's the difference between farther and further?
 

English Error, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #19 "Guided tour", question 9

Oh dear! Now in front of you, you can see a very big rock lying in the middle of the road and that means we cannot go on any more far.

(a) lying
(b) road
(c) more far

English Error, Elementary Level

ESL/EFL Test #19 "Guided tour", answer 9

Oh dear! Now in front of you, you can see a very big rock lying in the middle of the road and that means we cannot go on any further.

Correct entry: further
The error was: (c) more far

You have found the error but your entry is incorrect.
Oh dear! Now in front of you, you can see a very big rock lying in the middle of the road and that means we cannot go on any farther.
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what's the difference between farther and further?

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what's the difference between farther and further? #2 (permalink) Wed Jun 18, 2008 14:30 pm   what's the difference between farther and further?
 

.
Nothing really anymore. Some grammarians insist on 'farther' for physical distances and 'further' for conceptual or metaphorical distances, but corpus searches show that both words are used for both.
.
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what's the difference between farther and further? #3 (permalink) Wed Jun 18, 2008 18:55 pm   what's the difference between farther and further?
 

Hi,

I think the point is that 'farther' is less used, perhaps. It's a bit like 'It's me' and 'It's I'. Most people would say: 'It's me' and in the same vein there is a preference for 'further' both in greater distance and greater amount.

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what's the difference between farther and further? #4 (permalink) Wed Jun 18, 2008 23:32 pm   what's the difference between farther and further?
 

I am one who subscribes to the "farther: distance" and "further: figurative/conceptual" split.

But whether logic supports it or it's a case of misuse becoming accepted usage, it seems that, yes, they're used more or less interchangeably these days.

To support the "farther: distance" opinion, all I have to do is point to the definition of the root:

far

What does far mean? Does far refer to distance?

Conversely, what is "fur"?

there you go.

hehe

This is out there, but what the hayell:

Some denizens of the American South pronounce "farther" like "further".

I wonder if, at some point, people just got tired of spelling the word differently than they pronounced it, leading ultimately to an alternate spelling: further.

lol

Yeah, right, the American South created "further".
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