I was talking to a friend of mine when I asked:

How close is your house to the highway?

He said that, since I was discussing distance, it would have been more grammatically correct to ask:

How far is your house from the highway?

Is there any real difference between the two when speaking to someone (or in this case, texting)?

  • 4
    Your friend doesn't know what he's talking about. Both versions are fine - it's just a matter of whether the speaker [texter? :] wants to focus on how close he hopes the house will be, or how far away he fears it might be. Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 17:24
  • 3
    In actual usage, close vs. far reflects the mindset of the asker, or serves to make it a "leading question" by framing it in the direction the asker wants you to think about it.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 20:03
  • 1
    This question is analagous to the distinction between "How full is your glass" vs. "How empty is your glass," a distinction that is so rooted in context that it's become an idiomatic litmus test of one's worldview. Is the glass half empty or half full? Point being, it's all about perspective and context. Both are certainly grammatically correct. Commented Apr 8, 2017 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


Technically the two sentences mean the exact same thing.

Some implications might be different.

For instance,

"How close are you to the highway?"

could mean that it might be a bit too noisy for your friend ...


"How far are you from the highway?"

might be suggesting he is afraid of getting lost in the maze of picturesque scenic roads once he's off the exit ramp.

Neither is more grammatically correct than the other, though.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.