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Grammar Demystified: Distinguishing ‘Onward’ from ‘Onwards

Grammar Demystified: Distinguishing ‘Onward’ from ‘Onwards

English language originated in England around the 5th and 6th centuries and is currently the most widely spoken language. Almost every country uses the English language as its second or first language. 

Some people are lucky enough to get it in inheritance from their families while others learn through experience or courses. When learning any language you have to know the essential tenses and grammar rules to give meaning to sentences written and spoken.

Similarly, two of the words Onward and Onwards often create confusion among non-native speakers and sometimes among native speakers as well.

Onward and Onwards both are words that explain the direction. Both are used as directional words the former is used as an adjective and the latter as an adverb.

Even if it’s still not clear how to use either of the words, then don’t worry just read through this blog post. I’ll help you to differentiate between them clearly!

Which Word Is The Correct One Onward Or Onwards?

Well, they both are correct, and the only difference is how they are used grammatically. One is an adjective, and the other is an adverb.

It can get tricky sometimes when we write a spelling or word and repeat it twice or thrice we can start to feel we’re writing it wrong or if that word is even correct.

English is an all-inclusive language and each individual ought to figure out how to appropriately talk it. In English, we often mindless use vocabulary words without knowing how they would affect our statements.

Even while having a conversation with our friends we might make some errors that slip through the cracks and if having a discussion with a grammar nazi even the littlest mix-ups can be recognized and will cause an embarrassment to us.

It can happen to anyone and it’s okay! What’s not okay is when you refuse to check out if you’re heading in the right direction. So whenever in doubt you can always google your problem.

Coming back to Onward and Onwards, adjectives are words that define the parts or conditions of nouns. Whereas an adverb is a word that changes an action word, an adjective, another adverb, or even an entire sentence.

If you’re interested to know the Difference Between “Why Do You Ask” VS. “Why Are You Asking”? check out my other article to clear your confusion.

English grammar word onward and onwards difference.
Mostly English is learned from books and movies.

From Now Onward Vs Now Onwards?

From Now On is a phrase of From. This phrase means beginning at the predetermined moment and going on into what’s to come.

Onward when used as an adjective means (of an outing) moving or pushing ahead. So, From Now Onward means when you’ve decided to do something and continue it till a period.

Onwards when used as an adverb means proceeding ahead course; onwards. “she wobbled onwards” Now Onwards reflects the actions and journey from the moment it started and how long you will continue it.

Onward and Onwards are both used to find success moving to progress or improving to a more joyful future, particularly after some mishap.

Another phrase for onward is press onward which means to proceed or attempt to accomplish something sincerely, particularly while confronting difficulties or misfortunes.

Onwards is also used with upwards which means toward a superior level. He is moving on and up in his business venture.

Onward and Toward are the most common words people mix up. Toward only is used to refer to the destination of the direction. Whereas Onward explains how long is the stay after reaching a destination.

Like the girl walking toward the elevator. Here, towards explains the destination of her direction.

I’ll mostly be at home from six o’clock onwards. It means she will be home by six o’clock.

silence is also a universal language
Silence is also a language.

How Vastly Can The Words Onward And Onwards Be Use?

Onward and Onwards when written in a sentence explains the meaning in which context is it used. Is it used as an adjective and adverb?

The word “onward” is generally used to describe movement in a forward direction. It is often used as an adverb, followed by the words “to” or “toward.”

The word “onwards” can be used as an adverb and noun. It can also be used as a synonym for the word “onward”.

The difference between these two words is that the word “onwards” can be used to refer to the future, whereas the word “onward” refers to movement in a forward direction.

Onward and onwards are two different words with different meanings. The difference between them is that onward means moving in a forward direction while onwards means moving towards the future.

The word “onward” can be used in the following ways:

  • To refer to a future event that is likely to happen
  • To refer to a future event that may or may not happen
  • To refer to a future event that will happen

The word “onwards” can be used in the following ways:

To refer to the next place, time, or event in sequence. For example, we could say “we went from one town to another”.

As an adverb meaning “to or towards some goal”. For example, we could say “he walked on”.

The difference between “onward” and “onwards” is the direction in which they are moving.

sign language is also a language to communicate.
The sign is also a language. Mostly used by dumb people or used to represent a movement that needs attention

List Of Directional Words And Meaning

Onward refers to the direction that which something is moving or progressing. Onwards is a directional adverb, which means it’ll always be followed by an object pronoun, such as “me,” “us,” or “them.”

Onward is an adverb that means “forward”, while onwards is an adverb meaning “in the future”.

Wards are adverbial phrases showing duration. 

For instance, you move or look in reverse, you move or glance the way your back is called backward. 

Assuming that you move or look northwards, you move or look towards the north it is called northwards.

I peered through the window and could consider eastwards to be far as the far-off skyline.

She extended upwards to the pantry over the sink.

Directional WordMeaning
backwardto look for something at the back
downwardssomething that is at a lower location
eastwardsdirectional word to point towards the east
forwardto move or look in front
towardsstates any direction
inwardssomething that goes back inside
northwardsdirectional word to point toward the north
onwardsrefer to do something in future
southwardsdirectional word to point towards the south
upwardsto look or move in the top direction
westwardsdirectional word to point toward the west
Here are a few words finishing off with – wards

You can be imaginative and add – wards to different things to show the heading. Assuming you look skywards, you glance the way of the sky. If you move seaward, you move toward the ocean.

In American English, and here and there in British English, – ward is used rather than ‘- wards’ to beautify another word’s meaning.
They walked toward wards the west.

There were plans for the eastward development of England.

The stairs lead downwards to the living room.

She arrived in America and started getting ready for her onward journey to Australia.

Just like onward and onwards, both afterward and afterward are always used interchangeably. However, afterward is more common in the American language. Examples:
They got married not long afterward.
I left soon afterward.

In detail, the meaning of ward is explained.

Final Thoughts

In short, the word onward is used to define a particular action you decide to take in the future. It’s made from two words on and wards. This word can be used as an adverb by only adding ‘s’ at the end after which the context of the sentence will become entirely different.

On the other hand, the word onwards isn’t exclusive in any dictionary, and if you search, it’ll always appear in the meaning of onward only its use will be different. 

But in my opinion, these words are used interchangeably as there is no real difference in their meaning. So, if you say onward or onwards, people will clearly understand what you mean.

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