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Commonly Confused Words: Farther/Further

Is plaintiff’s claim farther or further attenuated than the bad precedent they cite to?

Uses of Farther:

  • Farther (adjective or adverb): Farther is used as an adjective or adverb that indicates physical distance between objects or from an object to a reference location: “The defendant’s requested venue is farther from the crash site than from the plaintiff’s chosen forum.”

Uses of Further:

  • Further (adjective or adverb): Further can be used as an adjective or adverb in several ways: (1) as an adjective describing metaphorical distance (“Plaintiff’s statement couldn’t be further from the truth”); (2) as an adjective meaning “additional” (“further research is required”); or (3) as an adverb describing the degree of an action (“let’s discuss this matter further”).
  • Further (conjunction): Further can be used as a conjunction to mean “also” or “in addition”: “Further, even if plaintiff’s assertion were true, it is legally irrelevant.”
  • Further (verb): Further can be used as a verb that means “to promote or advance progress”: “Her contributions furthered the movement towards equal protection.”
Rule—Farther or Further: If you need an ADJECTIVE or ADVERB, use further unless you are describing or comparing physical distance, then use farther. For any other part of speech, the correct word is further.