Farther or Further: Do You Know the Difference?

“I went further today on my bike ride than I had ever gone” or “I went farther today on my bike ride…”? Which is correct?

I have discovered that most people don’t actually know the difference between these two very commonly used English words. I have asked over a hundred people. Not one person actually knew the difference. Interesting, right?


Are you curious to see which is correct and why?


The answer is the second: farther, because this word has to do with measurable distance. The word further has to do with immeasurable distance. Por supuesto: He has achieved more in business by further developing relationships with his clients.


Why do you supposed you wanted to know which version was correct?

  • Were you one of those people who does not really care about being correct?
  • Maybe you are a person who would read this, be happy to have the information, but make no effort to make the change in the way you speak?
  • In the Huffington Post, grammar expert and author, William B. Bradshaw discusses how his book made it into the hands of 300 high school teachers and staff because the principal of the high school was concerned that the children being taught in the school were being influenced by the incorrect grammar of the teachers!

People of influence should care about how they reflect upon their listeners, especially children, who are being molded and shaped to direct future generations.

I often listen to president 45 and wonder if he has ever opened a book about grammar. As a president of the United States, I believe Trump should definitely get some lessons in elocution, being politically correct, and most definitely grammatically correct. (Tweet Tweet!)

As someone who has had to be a master at grammar, because I was a copy editor for over 100 published books at two major publishing companies in Nashville and New York, it is often difficult not to analyze the language skills of friends and family.

I know from experience that how other people think and act is none of my business. I have come to this conclusion, especially with family members, who had gotten very tired of me correcting them.

What about the actions of your spouse, though? How responsible do you feel for how he or she may act or speak?

What if you knew that you were going to be around a large group of intelligent people and that your spouse had the propensity to say a particular word incorrectly or use a word incorrectly in grammar? Would you say something to your partner? More importantly, how would you say this to your partner, if you chose to? Or would you simply let people judge your spouse and not care?

I have been faced with all of the above choices from the vantage point of being the one correcting and the one who had to be taught what was correct. Trust me, neither felt good. As the one being told that I shouldn’t wear white after summer. I should always wear off-white after Labor Day, I was like… WTF? Really? Does anyone really care?

As it turned out, in the South, the uppity-ups care. So, was it best to conform? Looking and appearing inappropriate: this is something you must decide for yourself if it matters.

In my estimation, a good partner might inform his or her spouse what the issue is and let the spouse make the decision if it is important enough to make a change. Forcing someone to make a change is just not anyone’s right, even a spouse. When you are in a parental position, this is entirely different. In this blog, I am considering the rights of friends and relatives that are not parents.


Personally, I don’t mind being corrected now, especially if the correction is coming from a person who cares about me and wants me to have the right information. After all, I speak in front of many people and also write books and informative blogs. If I am incorrect in my grammar, this impacts a great deal of people.

I often have readers tell me when I have made an error in a blog. Though it most often is an oversight, I am always thankful for the consideration. I never take it personally.

If you only knew how many people it takes to create one completed book at a publishing house, you would never be hurt by someone making a small correction in your grammar. When a book finally goes to press, usually over 10-20 people have read the book and corrected it many times. Even so, the expectation is that 10-50 mistakes will still appear in the text at the end of this rigorous process. Mistakes are just a part of life.

How important is it to you to be perfect? Maybe you’ve been a little hard on yourself.


I would love for you to stretch out your arms and think about protecting the part of the world that you can help, by not killing animals to eat. Check out my new YouTube Cooking Series: Angel Feast: Recipes for a New World:


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