Is there a difference between "westward" and "westwards" in different varieties of English? I am aware that AmE tends to use words with "ward" without the "s" (e.g. forward, toward...etc), while as BrE tends to use them with the "s" (e.g. forwards, towards...etc). Is this the same case for intercardinal directions (southwest, southeast...etc) ?
Sep 4, 2018 8:34 AM
Answers · 3
Westward is an adjective (the westward end of the building) and an adverb (she travelled westward), westwards is an adverb only, with the same meaning; many BrEng speakers are more comfortable using the unambiguous word. Susan is right about not using the likes of 'southwestward', except that toward is awkward as use as an adjective - it has a bit of an ambiguity problem with the pronoun toward, so 'southwestward' somehow feels more attractive as an adjectve than it does as an adverb.
September 4, 2018
My inclination would be to say "toward(s) the SE/NW" [or whatever direction]. "southwestwards" feels a bit contrived to me (as well as a bit of a mouthful!).
September 4, 2018
YES southwestward = southwestwards = towards the southwest
September 4, 2018
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