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Difference Between Towards and Toward

towards‘towards’ vs ‘toward’

The English language can really be confusing sometimes, or maybe we just tend to confuse ourselves by overthinking our grammar, and the appropriateness of our words.

Let us take, for instance, the words ‘toward’ and ‘towards’. Both are considered to be an adverb, adjective, or preposition. Webster defines both words as “in the direction of’ or ‘with direction to’, in a moral sense; with respect or reference to; regarding; concerning”. The prepositional definition would be ‘coming, approaching’. It is also the definition given by most dictionaries as well.

The Old English version of the word is ‘toweard’, that also had the same meaning.

‘Toward and towards’ are both accepted as correct, and are interchangeable. Wiktionary even states that ‘toward’ is a variant of ‘towards’. The only distinction between the two is that ‘toward’ is often used in American English, and the other (towards) is often used in British English. However, it isn’t surprising that some Britons may use ‘toward’ instead of ‘towards’.

Some would say that ‘towards’ is becoming obsolete, even according British English standards, but only time will tell. As of now, they can be used in replacement of each other, and it would be best to consider what the convention is in your country, i.e. use ‘towards’ in customary British English, or ‘toward’ in American English.

Many try to draw a semantic distinction between the two words, but there is no such thing.

So tell me, “Are you inclined toward towards or the other way around?”

Summary:

1. ‘Toward’ and ‘towards’ mean the exact same thing.

2. ‘Toward’ is more common in American English, whereas ‘towards’ is preferred in British English.


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6 Comments

  1. I just checked my own writing after I started writing towards and couldn’t decide whether it should be toward. Doing a search of the novel, I found that I consistently used towards. I am American, but aged about 50, perhaps I am becoming obsolete as well. LOL

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