Difference Between Toward and Towards

Main Difference Between Toward and Towards

Toward and towards are two prepositions that always confuse many English learners. Do they have the same meaning? Which has the correct spelling? Do they have different meanings? These are some of the questions that plague us. Well, toward and towards are the variants of the same word; there is no difference between toward and towards in terms of meaning. However, a difference can be noted between these two prepositions in their usage. Toward is mostly preferred by American and Canadian English speakers whereas towards is mostly preferred by British and Australian English speakers. This is the only difference between toward and towards.

Toward vs Towards – Meaning and Usage

As stated above, there is no difference between toward and towards in terms of meaning. However, toward is more common in American English and Canadian English. Both AP (Associated Press) stylebook and Chicago Manual of Style prefer the use of toward.

However, toward will be considered incorrect in British English and Australian English.  Towards is their preferred choice.

Now let’s look at the meaning of toward(s). These two prepositions can be used express meanings such as

– in the direction of

I ran towards the house.

Take one more step toward the river.

– in a position facing

His back was towards me.

He was turned towards the wall.

– with regard to

She was affectionate and tender towards her children.

My boss does not have a serious attitude toward work.

–  closer to a particular time

We are going on a trip towards the end of this month.

She’ll go there towards the end of this year.

As seen from these examples, these two prepositions can be used to convey a variety of expressions and they are interchangeable in all these expressions.

Difference Between Toward and Towards

The dog ran toward(s) its master.

This basic rule is also applied to other prepositions such as backwards/backward, downwards/downwards, etc.

Difference Between Toward and Towards

  • Toward and Towards have the same meaning.
  • Toward is more preferred in American English and Canadian English.
  • Towards is more preferred in British English and Australian English.
  • Both AP (Associated Press) stylebook and Chicago Manual of Style recommend the use of toward.

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About the Author: Hasa

Hasa has a BA degree in English, French and Translation studies. She is currently reading for a Masters degree in English. Her areas of interests include literature, language, linguistics and also food.


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