Toward and towards are the two words having an only difference of “s”, otherwise both are similar-sounding words. Both spellings are correct, and both are having meaning for the same thing, which is “in the direction of”. This article will definitely help to understand toward vs. towards and hence to get clear guidance for their usage.
Toward and towards both are used as prepositions in English sentences. We may use both the forms, but towards is much more common in comparison to the toward. It is a fact that “toward” is the preferred spelling in the USA and Canada. Whereas, in other English-speaking countries like the United Kingdom and Australia, towards is the more commonly used spelling.
As an example we have, the oil pollution is now moving towards the seashore too, and hence it might threaten the beaches as well as wildlife. She stood up and moved toward the door immediately. Thus, there is always confusion for toward vs. towards. Let us learn the proper use of these two words with suitable examples.
Difference Between Toward and Towards
Toward and towards are the two varieties of the almost same preposition in English. Toward and towards both primary prepositions which are meant for “in the direction of”. However, which spelling a person will use, depends on if they are following American English or British English. Although both of these words are correct for their usage and meaning, it is still a good idea to use the preferred spelling which must suit the country as well as the countrymen.
To remember that which one is more common for the American versus British English, it can help to use these properly in the sentences. This is the case for toward and towards both, as the Americans prefer the word with one less letter which is “s”. Toward usually acts as the preposition which can mean in the direction of. And it is for accomplishing a certain goal, close to, facing, or with respect to that. It is the preferred American English spelling. Towards has the exact same meaning as of toward, but it is the preferred British English spelling and has been in use for several hundred years.
Toward is the preferred American word, as in “He was driving toward California from New York.”
Towards is the preferred British word, as in, “She looked towards the direction of Delhi.”
When to use Toward?
Toward mainly works as the preposition in sentences, but sometimes, it can appear as an adjective too. As a preposition it’s meaning in the direction of, for a certain purpose, near, facing, or in regards to. Some examples,
- He pulled his dog toward the shed.
- She was putting the money from her job toward her college sports fees.
- His house is at the bottom of the hill, toward the river view.
- Suddenly, the lion turned toward the zookeeper, in attacking mode.
- The student’s behavior toward the teachers was very aggressive and out of control.
Incorrect: Towards the late afternoon, he always gets sleepy and therefore can’t work so well.
Correct: Toward the late afternoon, he always gets sleepy and therefore can’t work so well.
Incorrect: Sita stood up and moved towards the main gate of the house.
Correct: Sita stood up and moved toward the main gate of the house.
When to use Towards?
Towards has all the same definitions and meanings as toward. Still, it is the preferred spelling in British English. Initially, towards was more common in American English till the year the 1900s. After that, toward surpassed towards in American usage. It fits in with the trend for American English to eliminate extra letters in order to make a word shorter. Some examples:
- The robber moved towards her victim.
- The man tanning on the beach turned towards the sunlight.
- His gaze turned towards the hallway.
- She followed him with her eyes as he moved towards the kitchen.
Incorrect: You are always been very friendly toward me.
Correct: You are always been very friendly towards me.
Incorrect: The essays he was doing during term count toward his final grade.
Correct: The essays he was doing during term count towards his final grade.
Examples of Toward – Using toward in a Sentence:
- As all of them continued toward the house, I cleared my throat.
- He slipped from her mother’s lap and almost ran toward his dog.
- Toward what place was the bird flying when you last saw it?
- A slow song began as I moved toward her.
- They both left the reception counter and started down the hall toward the desk.
Examples of Towards – Using towards in a Sentence:
- He moved sluggishly towards the shivering woman.
- Shobha hugged herself and hurried towards the door.
- He nodded his head towards the wall.
- With a noisy sigh, he slinked out the back door of the hall towards the barracks.
- Might do we good to get out of sight, he said, nodding towards the windows.