The words toward and towards can create quite a bit of anxiety for writers. For many of us, the proper use of these two words are unknown. I've ALWAYS believed them to be variants of the same word? They can't have different meanings, can they? Well, today we're here to figure out the how and why of "Toward" and "Towards." Feel free to wipe your sweaty hands, and brow, as we immerse into the facts about this most important issue. Toward and towards are prepositions, which mean, in the direction of, in a position facing, with regard to; or in furtherance or partial fulfillment of.
So, let's use common folks communication here. The real difference between these two is totally dialectal. There's no real difference in function between the two. Can you believe that? To think, all of the sweat and tears I've shed from not knowing the facts on this. Both words can be used interchangeably. So the most important fact when choosing to use one or the other is this: Toward (without the -s) is the preferred choice in American English. So if you're writing to an American audience, you'll probably want to pull out the one lacking an "s."
Towards (with the -s) is the preferred choice within British English and also Australian English. But even if you somehow forget the golden nugget we've given you today, and you use an "s" towards your American friends; don't sweat it. No red ink should be slapped against your content. But if you use toward (without the -s) with British and Australian English, prepare to be taken out back for target practice. We want to save you from the red ink in all places, so here's some keys to help you remember:
- The word American does NOT posses an "s," so you're toward shouldn't either.
- British does have an "s," therefore, your towards should as well.