Toward/Towards: Which One to Use?

I’ve often seen authors get confused over which form to use when it comes to toward and towards. I know I had to look it up when I first started writing. Seeing both forms being used in books and on the Internet only seems to confuse writers more on which one they should be using. I notice people around me often use towards in speech. Heck, even I notice myself using this form.

Technically both forms are correct. Which one you use depends on where you live and what style guide you follow. If you are American, you’ll want to use toward. For you style guide sticklers, both Chicago and AP style use toward. But if you use British English, you’ll use towards.

Other words act similarly in American vs. British English. Similar examples include afterward, downward, upward, backward, and forward. In American English they lose the s, and in British English you add the s. Be careful about sticking to only one form. I see authors switch between toward and towards when they aren’t sure which one they should be using. If you’re worried about this, when you’re editing do a search for the form you don’t want to use and replace it with the correct one.

 

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