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Jane Mairs, Director of English language Learning Publishing
Which should you use, "toward" or "towards"?
Wednesday January 25th 2012
Question
Which should you use, "toward" or "towards"?
Answer

Question

Margaret from the US asked when to use toward and towards.

Answer

Although this is a question that confuses many, the answer is simple:  Toward and towards are completely interchangeable, so you can use either one whenever you want.

Now let’s go a little deeper: 

Toward and towards are prepositions that mean “in the direction of someone or something, or close in location or time."  As prepositions, they are followed by nouns or noun phrases.

However, there is a difference in their usage. Although toward and towards are used at about the same frequency in spoken language, in written language toward is used much more often than towards, roughly five times as often. (This applies to American English only; in British English towards is the more common variation.) So if you'd like to be on the safe side, use toward and you won't be wrong. But the choice is really up to you.

Below are some common expressions and example sentences with toward/towards.

  1. attitude toward(s)           Rachel has a serious attitude toward(s) her work.
  2. to turn toward(s)            The flowers will turn toward(s) the sun.
  3. toward(s) the end of       We're going on vacation toward(s) the end of the month. 

 I hope this helps.

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