Is It Toward or Towards? How To Choose The Right Word

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.

While toward and towards are used at about the same frequency in spoken language, in written language toward is widely acceptable 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 and your location.

The debate between “toward” and “towards” is about which word in English is used appropriately. Despite their similar semantics, is there a difference between them? We’ll find out.

What Does Toward Mean?

Toward is a preposition that indicates movement or orientation and means to be directed. This includes meanings that are metaphorical about relationships or purposes in addition to the literal sense of traveling in a particular direction.

“Toward” can also sometimes serve as an adjective denoting a continuous process. As prepositions, “toward” and “towards” are equivalent, but when employed as an adjective, “toward” stays the same and doesn’t require a final “s.”

How To Pronounce The Word ‘Toward

Here’s the U.S. and British pronunciation of toward.

  • UK/təˈwɔːd//twɔːd/
  • US/tɔːrd//twɔːrd/

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What Does Towards Mean?

Towards is a preposition that means in the direction or vicinity of. It is used to show the proximity of an object to something or someone in space and time.

Towards is more frequently employed in British English while toward is preferred in American English. Apart from that, the definition and purpose of these two words are the same.

What is the Difference Between Toward and Towards?

Language enthusiasts have tried to come up with a semantic distinction between the words toward and towards all to no avail. The only difference in practice is dialectal. Toward is more common in American English and towards is more common in British English, though each form may be found in both varieties.

Both toward and towards are acceptable choices for a proposition. The letter “S” at the end of the two nouns is the sole significant distinction between them. In the past, the United States and Canada have been more likely to use toward (no “S”). In contrast, Australia and the UK tend to use the word towards (with the ‘S’).

Is Towards Plural?

Towards” (spelled with an “S”) does not have a plural form. Nouns can usually be singular or plural. Towards cannot be plural because it is frequently a preposition and rarely an adjective. As a result, the distinction between towards and towards is not singular and plural. Rather, the distinction is geographical.

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When Can ‘towards and toward’ Be Used?

You can use the words toward and towards for the following reasons:

To show reason

Toward or towards is used to convey reason in the sample sentences below.

  • Your monthly payments work toward lowering your entire amount owed.
  • Completing assignments on time is a direct step towards achieving your graduation goal.

To show direction

Recall that the terms toward or towards are synonymous in their broadest meanings. You can use either one of these instead. In contrast, when discussing directions, it is more typical to use the term towards.

  • With the intention of checking out, Michelle walked towards the counter.
  • I just closed on a house towards the airport area; I hope the noise level isn’t bad.

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How To Use ‘Towards’ In A Sentence

We’ll explore specific examples using “towards” in sentences, considering how toward or towards usage might vary depending on location and personal preference. Although both function as prepositions meaning “in the direction of,” as we’ve discussed, regional preferences often dictate the chosen word.


  1. Joseph ambled towards the stereo, hoping to subtly lower the volume.
  2. Maria gave her mom a hug and then bolted towards the bus.
  3. Noah made a dash towards the door.
  4. After work, I always make a beeline towards the parking lot.
  5. “Come midnight,” Joe said, “the crazies start emerging.” (This rephrases the time element)
  6. The milk can be found near the front of the store, towards the bakery section.
  7. My mom inched closer to the door in an attempt to eavesdrop on my sister’s phone call.
  8. He cast his gaze towards the sun, but its brilliance was unbearable.
  9. The murderer fled towards his next target.
  10. The window’s glare was so intense, I had to face towards the wall.

How To Use ‘toward’ In A Sentence

It’s crucial to remember that toward has another meaning as an adjective. But its primary usage is as a preposition. “Towards” indicates in the direction of, for a specific purpose, close to, facing, or concerning when used as a preposition. Let’s examine a few sentences that employ the word “toward.”


  1. He clutched his blanket toward his chest.
  2. I’m directing all this money toward our move.
  3. My house is situated at the street’s end, toward the pool and tennis court.
  4. Shirley’s son’s behavior toward his father is simply not acceptable.
  5. My son turned toward his brother, a wide grin plastered on his face.
  6. A new hurricane is barreling toward the coast.
  7. I witnessed the eclipse back in 2017, but looking directly toward the sun demanded caution.
  8. My son diligently saved his money, allocating it all toward a new game for his Nintendo Switch.
  9. Don’t take another step toward me!
  10. In which direction, toward what place, was the dog running when you last saw her? I’m worried, she’s missing!

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Can You End a Sentence with Toward?

It is advisable to refrain from using toward to finish a phrase when it is serving as a preposition. This is because using a preposition to conclude a sentence is considered grammatical blunder. That said, do not conclude a phrase with a preposition if you are writing a formal document, essay, or paper. This “rule” can be broken, though, if you are conversing casually or writing a note, email, or SMS. On the other hand, toward can—and typically does—come at the end of a phrase when serving as an adjective.

What Are Some Synonyms for Toward?

The words similar in meaning to the word toward are; approaching, proceeding, via, facing, and against are synonyms for toward.

You can alternatively use the following expression in place of the word towards:

  • in the direction of
  • in the vicinity
  • not quite
  • on the road to
  • in relation to
  • close to
  • shortly before


The word toward or towards should be used depending on your writing style, the context, and the dialect of the place you’re speaking or writing in. Regardless of which option feels more natural to you or complements your writing style, both are accurate and express the same idea.

FAQs On Toward or Towards

Should I be concerned about using “toward” or “towards”?

Not necessarily! Both are understood. Choose based on preference or audience.

Are there any grammatical rules for using “toward” or “towards”?

Ther are no strict rules that dictate when to use “toward” or “towards.” It’s chiefly a matter of style and regional preference. However, consistency within a piece of writing is important, so it’s best to stick to one form throughout.

Which one is more commonly used, “toward” or “towards”?

It depends on the location variation. For instance, “Toward” is more common in American English, while “towards” is more commonly used in British English. However, both are widely understood in either dialect.


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