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Forward vs Forwards

I always wonder whether I should say "looking forwards to your reply" or "looking forward to your reply", which one should I say in a email?

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marked as duplicate by Kit Z. Fox, Daniel, Thursagen, aedia λ, kiamlaluno Aug 27 '11 at 2:08

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

@KitΘδς: Except that in this highly specific context, as we all know and as simchona's chart proves in spades, there is only one standard choice. In short, OP would learn everything he wants here, but nothing relevant on the other question. Which massively raises the issue of what exactly to close as a duplicate. Suppose it had been closed before simchona answered? – FumbleFingers Aug 26 '11 at 1:47
@FumbleFingers Except that I cannot find "looking forwards" as a phrase in a dictionary, which means this is general reference even were it not a duplicate. – Kit Z. Fox Aug 26 '11 at 2:25
@KitΘδς: It's not obvious to me that general reference should include people failing to have successfully searched for each of two possible phrases in dictionaries. What is obvious to me is that if searching EL&U for "forward forwards" had revealed the required info, OP should have found that before asking. Probably the system did alert him to your link while he typed his question ("Questions with similar titles"), but he'd still have needed to ask, wouldn't he? – FumbleFingers Aug 26 '11 at 2:41
up vote 12 down vote accepted

Forward and forwards are similar, and people often confuse them. According to this blog, however, you shouldn't worry too much about which is correct when you are using them as adverbs:

Forwards is a variant spelling of the adverb (not the adjective) forward. (e.g., We moved forward/forwards in the forward [not forwards] compartment.) Towards is a variant spelling of toward. Use whichever sounds better to you, but be consistent.

However, in the case of look forward to, this is an phrasal verb. It is never written with forwards:

enter image description here

So you should say I am looking forward to.... When you are using forward as an adverb, however, you can pick which one you prefer. Both of the following are correct:

I moved forward in line

I moved forwards in line

The question of "forward vs. forwards" in terms of adverbs is explained here in an older question.

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+1 This is at once succinct and comprehensive. Thank you! – Daniel Aug 26 '11 at 2:25
This answer has a lot of interesting detail about the words forward and forwards in addition to the phrase "looking forward." – Kit Z. Fox Aug 26 '11 at 3:06

The Corpus of Contemporary American English doesn't have a single match for the phrase "looking forwards" and it sounds like a mistake to me. So you should say

Looking forward to your reply.

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I don't see this adds anything to @simchona's earlier reply, and that certainly makes several relevant points additional to yours, and includes a useful link to a more general question asked long ago. – FumbleFingers Aug 26 '11 at 2:11
This answer is short, sweet, and to the point. It answers the question nicely and in a straightforward manner. – Kit Z. Fox Aug 26 '11 at 3:05
@FumbleFingers: simchona's "earlier" reply is earlier in that it was posted while I was posting. When that happens I don't feel any need to not post my own answer. I already whined and whined at her in chat for being faster than me :) – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Aug 26 '11 at 12:03
@FumbleFingers: Go nuts. But I personally reserve downvotes for answers that are wrong or really bad. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Aug 26 '11 at 15:11
@FumbleFingers: In this case, my answer references a different source than simchona so I think it's ok to leave it. Now if only I knew how to link to search results in the COCA..... – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Aug 26 '11 at 16:58

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