Onward or Onwards – Which One to Use?
The choice between “onward” and “onwards” may seem trivial, but it could make a significant difference in the way you express yourself. Choosing between the two can either make or break your sentence, and it’s essential to understand the differences between them to be sure that you are using the correct one.
Definition of Onward and Onwards
Onward is an adverb used to show movement towards a destination, advancement in a particular direction, or progression from one stage to another. It can also refer to something that persists or continues relentlessly, despite the obstacles one may face.
Onwards is also an adverb, but it’s less commonly used compared to onward. It is often used in British English to show the same meaning as onward, but it’s mostly used in the plural form.
Examples of Onward and Onwards
– We will push onward until we reach the summit.
– The project has been moving onward for two months.
– She held her head high and carried onward despite the storm.
– He ordered his men to move onward despite the casualties.
– I’m looking forward to traveling onwards to Paris.
– The journey onwards to the city was exciting.
– The company has decided to expand onwards to South America.
– They want to proceed onwards with their research.
When to Use Onward and Onwards?
The main difference between onward and onwards is the formality of their usage. Onward is more formal and can be used in both formal and informal contexts, while onwards is less formal and is usually more common in British English. It is also commonly used in academic writing and speeches.
Onward is more commonly used in instances where one needs to evoke a more dynamic and vivid picture of motion or movement. It is often used to describe physical movement, as well as moral and intellectual progress.
Onwards is mostly used when expressing thoughts about future movement, such as future planning or projections. It is often used in general statements, and it shows a sense of optimistic forward movement.
Onward Or Onwards: Which One to Choose?
In most cases, either onward or onwards can be used interchangeably, depending on the writer’s preference or the context in which it is used. However, it is essential to know the proper usage of each to avoid any confusion.
If you are writing in American English, you should opt for “onward” since it’s the more widely accepted form. In most cases, it would be inappropriate to use onwards in American English, as it may be perceived as formal or archaic.
In British English, both spellings are accepted, but “onwards” is preferred. It’s worth noting that using “onward” instead of “onwards” may make your writing sound slightly formal in British English.
FAQs on Onward and Onwards
1. Can Onward and Onwards Be Used Interchangeably?
In the most cases, onward and onwards can be used interchangeably, depending on the preference of the writer or the context in which they are used. However, it’s important to note that onward is widely accepted in American English, while onwards is more commonly used in British English.
2. When Should I Use Onward or Onwards?
Onward should be used when describing physical movement, as well as moral and intellectual progress. Onwards should be used to express thoughts about future movement, such as future planning or projections.
3. Is it Wrong to Use Onwards in American English?
It’s not wrong to use onwards in American English, but it’s relatively uncommon. In most cases, it’s better to use onward instead, as it’s the more widely accepted form in American English.
4. Which One is More Formal – Onward or Onwards?
Onward is generally more formal but is commonly used in informal contexts as well. Onwards is less formal and is more commonly used in British English.
The choice between onward and onwards may seem insignificant, but it can make a big difference in the way you write and express yourself. It’s important to understand the differences between the two and when to use each one to ensure that you are using the correct form. In most cases, either one can be used interchangeably, but it’s important to keep in mind the conventions of the language in which you are writing.