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The Grammar Guru

Naomi knew that Shangri-La was far from Duluth, where she lived. It was even farther from Seattle, where her cousin lived. She didn't have any further facts about Shangri-La, which was fine with Norman, her boyfriend of 30 years, who felt they'd covered the subject fully.

One evening, while they sat watching a PBS documentary about leeks, Norman said, "What do you think is farther from here, Pluto or Venus?"

"I'd say Pluto, although it's not really a planet, you know. I read that somewhere."

"Oh, then what is it?" asked Norman.

"I forget. Probably just a big rock," said Naomi. "If I come across any further information about Pluto, I'll let you know."

Norman grinned. "He was quite the dog."

"Who?"

"Pluto, the Disney dog."

They sat silently through a commercial. Then, Norman said, "I'm pretty sure Mars is farther from the moon than the sun."

Naomi nodded, and they sat quietly for the rest of the evening, until Naomi's cousin from Seattle called.

Remember: farther -- comes from "far" and concerns physical distance

further -- more, additional

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Quiz

1) Mrs. Noah warned the hyenas, "Any (farther/further) fooling around and you're off the boat!"

2) The TV newscaster said, "When we get (farther/further) information about the approaching blizzard --"

3) "I have never been (further/farther) away from home than Earth," the Martian told his son.

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Answers

1) further (Mrs. Noah was the real captain of the ark.)

2) further (Just then, laughing to itself, the blizzard knocked the station off the air.)

3) farther ("The Earthlings are very strange," the Martian said. "They sit for hours staring at a screen with moving images on it." His son nodded and went back to playing with his tails.)

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