To and Towards – Confusing English words | Vocabulary

To and Towards – Confusing English words | Vocabulary

In this tutorial about To and Towards Confusing English Words for beginners’ learners are going to learn the difference between the words “to” and “towards”. The word “to” is another common preposition of place. It is normally used with a verb showing movement and shows the result of the movement; the place or person that the movement was toward or in the direction of. The preposition toward has a similar meaning, but it’s not exactly the same: with toward, the direction of the movement is shown, but not the result.

Before we proceed, watch the video here.

Here are two examples:

Walking towards
Walking towards

In these examples;

The words to and towards are prepositions to describe movement.

Both sentences are grammatically correct.

But there is a slight difference in meaning.

In sentence 1: “Helen is walking towards the market”. So, towards the market means that she’s walking in the direction of the market.

When we use towards, we are not describing the destination.

Maybe the destination is the market but we are not certain because maybe Helen will stop before the market or walk past the market.

We know only that Helen is walking in the direction of the market.

We do not know the result of the movement.

Toward or towards?

Sometimes you will see the word “toward”. What is the difference between towards and toward?

toward or towards
toward or towards

The meaning of towards and toward is the same.   

Now let’s look at the word “to”: “Dan is walking to the market”.

“to” the market = the destination is the market

When we use “to” we are describing the destination of the movement and Dan’s exact direction is not important.

Only Dan’s final destination is important and we are describing the result of the movement.

Let’s look at the example which shows both “to” and “towards”.

Helen is going to the market. So, her final destination is the market but her journey will have two parts. And the first part of the journey is;

1. Helen starts to walk in the direction of the post office.

= Helen is going to the market. She is walking towards the post office.

2. Helen then walks in the of the market.

= Helen is going to the market. She is also walking towards the post office.

So, that’s the difference between the words “to’ and “towards”, which are confusing English words that you need to learn for its very important.

Downloadable Materials

Download the Presentation used in this tutorial here.

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