# comparing geographical positions

• 13-Feb-2011, 23:49
Verona_82
comparing geographical positions
Hello,

I've faced some difficulties comparing geographical positions. For example, there're two cities, city A and city B. City A is a southern city. City B is a southern city too, and its position is closer to the Equator when compared to City A's position. How can I compare them?
City B is further south than City A. ?

We cannot build comparatives from 'southern', 'northern' etc, right?

I'd be very grateful for help.
• 13-Feb-2011, 23:53
birdeen's call
Re: comparing geographical positions
I'd use "farther south".

If I heard that B is more southern than A, I would understand that there is a quality (probably cultural) that southern cities have, and this quality is more intense in B than in A.
• 14-Feb-2011, 00:18
Verona_82
Re: comparing geographical positions
Thanks, Birdeen's Call.
I'd understand it in the same way. However, I need to compare their positions on a map.. :roll:
• 14-Feb-2011, 00:24
Barb_D
Re: comparing geographical positions
I think the way you've expressed it (with the change to "farther," which is one of those points that I always mix up and I wouldn't have noticed anything amiss with "further") is fine.

You can also say "B is to the south of A."
• 14-Feb-2011, 00:32
Verona_82
Re: comparing geographical positions
Thank you.
But... I was taught 'farther' and 'further' mean the same when talking about distance :-?
• 14-Feb-2011, 00:37
birdeen's call
Re: comparing geographical positions
Quote:

Originally Posted by Verona_82
Thank you.
But... I was taught 'farther' and 'further' mean the same when talking about distance :-?

I don't think it's incorrect to use "further" in your sentence. But some people insist that a distinction should be made:

farther - distance
further - degree

• 14-Feb-2011, 00:40
Barb_D
Re: comparing geographical positions
And now that we're talking about it more, could "southern-ness" be considered a degree?

If we were on a south-bound road, I would agree that B is farther on down the road than A. But we're not moving from a point to the north down to A and then farther down to B -- we're looking at a map and noting how southern it is.

I'd say either one could be used, but I'm leaning back toward "further."

(As you can see, native speakers struggle with this too, so don't worry if you have to look up the usage yourself. So do we!)
• 14-Feb-2011, 00:55
birdeen's call
Re: comparing geographical positions
Numbers from BYU corpora for (the?) queries: farther north|south|west|east and further north|south|west|east. (The symbol "|" means "or".)

farther north|south|west|east

COCA: 1088
COHA: 1429
TIME: 366
BNC: 57 (!!!)

further north|south|west|east
COCA: 467
COHA: 527
TIME: 34
BNC: 449
• 14-Feb-2011, 06:58
Raymott
Re: comparing geographical positions
Quote:

Originally Posted by Verona_82
Hello,

I've faced some difficulties comparing geographical positions. For example, there're two cities, city A and city B. City A is a southern city. City B is a southern city too, and its position is closer to the Equator when compared to City A's position. How can I compare them?
City B is further south than City A. ?

We cannot build comparatives from 'southern', 'northern' etc, right?

I'd be very grateful for help.

You need to be more explicit when you describe something as a southern city.
Both Sydney and Melbourne could be called southern cities. Sydney is closer to the equator, yet it's north of Melbourne! Figure.

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