Is It Toward or Towards? | Spelling, Difference & Examples

UK vs US updated on  December 13, 2023 3 min read
Toward and towards are two ways of spelling the same preposition, which means “in contribution to,” “in the direction of,” or “in relation to.” The words are often used interchangeably, but there’s a difference in preference depending on whether you use British or American English.

  • In American English, “toward” is more common.
  • In British English, “towards” is more common.

It’s important to choose one spelling and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Examples: Toward or towards in a sentence

The hiker started walking toward/towards the summit of the mountain.

As the storm approached, people hurried toward/towards shelter.

The organization is moving toward/towards a more sustainable business model.

Working toward or towards

The phrase working toward or towards means “trying to achieve.” The same distinction applies to this phrase.

  • In British English, “working toward” is more commonly used.
  • In American English, “working towards” is preferred.

Examples: Working toward or towards in a sentence

The therapy sessions are helping Zoey in working toward/towards emotional healing.

The nonprofit organization is tirelessly working toward/towards eradicating hunger in the community.

The team is working toward/towards a more efficient and streamlined workflow.

Main differences between American and British English

American and British English are very similar, but there are a few main differences in spelling. Five important differences are:

Difference

Rule

Examples

-or vs -our

In American English, many Latin-derived words end in -or.

In British English, these same words end in -our.

Behavior or behaviour
Labor or labour
Favor or favour
Favorite or favourite
Color or colour
Honor or honour

-er vs -re

In American English, some French, Latin, or Greek words end in -er.

In British English, these same words end in -re.

Theater or theatre
Center or centre
Meter or metre
Liter or litre
Saber or sabre
Fiber or fibre

-ize vs -ise

In American English, many Greek-derived words end in -yze or -ize.

In British English, these words end in -yse or -ise.

Realize or realise
Recognize or recognise
Analyze or analyse
Organisation or organization
Minimize or minimise
Finalize or finalise

-ed vs -t

In American English, most verbs are regular and form their past tense with the suffix -ed.

In British English, some of these verbs are irregular and form their past tense with the suffix -t.

Learned or learnt
Burned or burnt
Kneeled or knelt
Dreamed or dreamt
Smelled or smelt
Spelled or spelt

Single vs double consonant

In American English, many words are spelled with a single consonant.

In British English, these same words are spelled with a double consonant.

Modeling or modelling
Traveling or travelling
Canceled or cancelled
Labeled or labelled
Buses or busses
Focused or focussed

Do you want to know more about commas, parts of speech, email, or other language topics? Check out some of our other language articles full of examples and quizzes.


US vs UK

Commas

Commonly confused words

Modelling vs modeling

Comma before or after so

Into vs in to

Defence vs defense

Comma before or

Awhile vs a while

Favourite vs favorite

Comma before while

A vs an

Theatre vs theater

Comma before which

Its vs it’s

Organisation vs organization

Comma splice

Use to or used to


Frequently asked questions about toward or towards

Is it toward or towards in AP style?

Toward and towards are two spellings of the same preposition. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In American English, “toward” is more common.
  • In British English, “towards” is preferred.

AP style generally follows American English conventions, so they favor toward.

It's important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it leaning toward or towards?

Toward and towards are two spellings of the same preposition. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In American English, you typically use “toward,” so leaning toward is most common.
  • In British English, you generally use “towards,” so leaning towards is most common.

It's important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

Is it geared toward or towards?

Toward and towards are two spellings of the same preposition. The spelling depends on the type of English.

  • In American English, you typically use “toward,” so geared toward is most common.
  • In British English, you generally use “towards,” so geared towards is most common.

It's important to choose one and use it consistently. The QuillBot Grammar Checker can help you with this.

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Julia Merkus

Julia has master's degrees in Linguistics and Language and speech pathology. Her expertise lies in grammar, language and speech disorders, foreign language learning, and child language acquisition.

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