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11 May 2013

Vocabulary: Afterward or Afterwards / Toward or Towards


Many people are often confused about the correct usage of these two word pairs: “afterward or afterwards” and “toward or towards.”

The simplest answer is one word is used more commonly in American English and the other in British English.  Most of the time “afterward or afterwards” and “toward or towards” can be used interchangeably.

American English
British English
Afterward
Toward
Afterwards
Towards

Examples:
* You will forget about your troubles afterward(s).
* The manager will soon find out about it long afterward(s).
* Afterward(s), she was demoted from her position.
* The old man has a positive attitude toward(s) work.
* The model aircraft is flying toward(s) the tall trees.

Additionally, “towards” is also used to refer to direction.
Examples:  
* We are heading towards town.  
* Do not take another step towards the door!  

“Toward” is more similar to expressions like “regarding, with regard to, concerning, with respect to, with respect to"
Examples: 
* The old man has a positive attitude toward work.  
* The teacher showed kindness toward her students. 
* Let us work toward a common goal.



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