Difference between Farthest and Furthest (With Table)

When learning English, a lot of emphases is put on such words that may confuse learners. Some words only have differences when they are put in the right context.

The words farthest and furthest have been used interchangeably by many people although they are totally different from each other when used in a sentence.

Both words are used to denote distance. When they are used in a sentence, a clear difference comes out between the two. Both are regular superlative adjectives.

So, what is the main difference between farthest and furthest? Farthest is used to denote distance as a comparison factor while furthest is not used to compare any distance mentioned.

For more information about the difference between farthest and furthest in tabular form continue reading the article. You will also get to learn of the similarities between the two.

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Comparison Table (Farthest vs Furthest)

Basic TermsFarthestFurthest
MeaningIt is used to denote physical distances directly.It is used to denote distance in a non-physical or abstract way.
Usage in contextIt is used in comparison with something or someone.It is not used to compare anything.
Usage in conceptIt describes distance as a physical quantity.It denotes distance as a higher degree.
As a verbIt is never used as a verb.It can be used as a verb.
Used as a phraseIt is not used in phrases.It can be used in phrases.

What is Farthest?

Farthest is a regular superlative form of adjective or adverb ‘far’. It is used to denote distance that is longer than the expected one. It is used in comparison form.

It is used in many contexts such as indicating the physical distance. For example; among all the students, John lives the farthest.

It can also be used to indicate the time factor indirectly. For example; Mary has been traveling the farthest so far.

The word is not used in phrases nor is it used as a verb. It is only used as an adjective or adverb in its superlative form.

What is Furthest?

Furthest is the superlative form of the word ‘far’. It is also used to denote longer distances but it is non-physical or used in abstract ways.

It is used to describe the time taken to complete a certain task. It may be used to describe covering the greatest area or distance. For example; the expedition went to the farthest end of the earth.

It is used as an adjective, adverb, or verb in a sentence. It is also used in phrases for example ‘at the furthest’.

It is not used in comparison unlike ‘farthest’. It is just used to denote the furthest distance but not in comparison with the previous one.

Main Difference between Farthest and Furthest

  1. Farthest is used to denote physical distance directly while furthest is used to denote distance in a non-physical or abstract way.
  2. Farthest is used in comparison with something or someone while furthest is not used in the comparison.
  3. Farthest is not used as a verb while furthest can be used as a verb.
  4. Farthest is not used in phrases while furthest is used in phrases.
  5. Farthest is used to describe distance as a physical quantity while furthest denotes distance as a higher degree.

Similarities between Farthest and Furthest

  1. Both are used to denote distance.
  2. Both are used as adjectives and adverbs.

Conclusion

Farthest and furthest are the two words that are often confused by the users in a sentence. Although the two are used to denote distance, they are different when it comes to the context of the sentence.

The main difference between farthest and furthest is that farthest is used to denote physical distance directly while furthest is used to denote distance in a non-physical or abstract way.

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