THE NEWSGHOST, NIGERIA – Have you ever tried to use the word ‘towards’ in your writing, then you suddenly realised that there is also another similar word written as ‘toward’, and you became confused about which one is correct?
For some years now, I have also suffered from this confusion unknowingly. When I first encountered these two words and had to make a decision on which one to use, I thought ‘towards’ was to be used with a third-person singular subject and ‘toward’ with a third-person plural subject; as is the case with verbs where you add ‘-s’, ‘-es’ or ‘-ies’ to their endings.
But ‘toward’ and ‘towards’ are prepositions, and not verbs. So, I was wrong all along.
If you have been making this same mistake, do not feel angry or disappointed with yourself. The distinction between both words is not something so easy to figure out.
It has nothing to do with grammar, but much to do with geographical region.
You are surprised to hear that, right? I was too.
As a post on EnhanceMyWriting.com puts it, ‘the spelling a person uses depends on if they use American English or British English.’
And the reason behind this variation is simply the trend in American English of making a word shorter by eliminating letters or reducing the amount of unnecessary letters.
Have you ever had this sort of misconception with any word or group of words? Share it in the comment section.