Difference Between Farthest vs Furthest

Difference Between Farthest vs Furthest

Sometimes, in conversations or writing, we suddenly need to use some words that seem ambiguous and confusing. Regardless of intellectual or educational level, we still find ourselves in this confusing state occasionally.

It is important to pay attention to the wordings of a sentence as one word can change the entire meaning of such a sentence, just as a letter can change the meaning and nature of a word. We have heard them being used without even observing significant differences in them.

Furthest vs farthest are such synonymous terms that we need to pay close attention to while placing them in writing or being used while speaking. The two terms almost have the same spelling and are closely related in meaning. Nevertheless, we still need to see the differences between furthest and farthest to use them appropriately and much better subsequently.

Definition of Farthest

Farthest is used for describing a physical distance. In a situation where we have to tell how far a place is or describe the geographical remoteness of a place, farthest is often used. Unlike further, it is more measurable or more quantifiable, and the descriptions are more extreme.

Let’s see some examples: there are about four of them, but Mary lives farthest from the school. In this case, it describes and shows the degree of distance of Mary to the school. More examples:

  • She asked for the farthest distance I could drive.
  • Z is the farthest letter from A in the alphabet.
  • Let’s be unwearied the hospital, is just two miles farther. (In other words, they have to cover two more miles to get to the hospital or the distance between their present location and the hospital is two miles.)

Definition of Furthest

Furthest is defined as an extreme descriptive form of a distance or degree of a move. It is best used to tell the greatest or more possibility of a move in a subject or area.

The term also describes a more intense use of an object or degree of performance of an act, e.g. ‘can we go further?’ ‘We can use this period to further discuss the next project.’

More examples;

  • The student went to the furthest reaches to get the research summarized.
  • This course will further your understanding of the business field.
  • I think it’s getting darker, we can’t go further in the forest.
  • As I went further, I saw the old man who owns the house.
  • Paul and John promised to race the furthest distance on the game.

Main Difference Between Farthest vs Furthest

Let’s see the differences in a tabulated form:

Basis of ComparisonFarthestFurthest
DefinitionFarthest is used for describing the distance between physical or geographical locations.It is used to tell the greatest or more possibility of a move in a subject or area
In ContextIt is used for comparison. To show the distance between two points or places.No comparison. It doesn’t necessarily compare one object or place to another, it is therefore independent.
In conceptIt is used with physical differencesDescribe distance in degree or used to describe figurative distance.
Part of speechIt is not a verb and can’t be used as a verb.It can be used as a verb
In phrasesIt doesn’t feature in phrasesIt is used in phrases.

Difference Between Farthest and Furthest: Conclusion

In summary, farthest vs furthest have been used interchangeably and misused due to its closeness in meaning and usage. Though both words are of course used to describe distance or degree of distance, the context and conceptual usage is different.

In a comparative sentence, ‘farthest’ is the appropriate word to use as it can be used to show specificity in the distance between a particular point and another while ‘furthest’ is used independently and in sentences without comparison.

Understanding the difference between farthest and furthest will surely make a great change in your subsequent writing and speaking skills as you learn to use them appropriately. Without a doubt, this is the key disparities between the two concepts.