Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

These seem to be interchangeable. Are these both grammatically correct? Is there any difference at all?

When are "at" and "towards" interchangeable?

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

There is a slight difference in meaning between 'at' and 'towards'. 'At' gives an aggressive sense, eg 'His snide remarks were directed at her.' 'Towards' is more neutral, eg 'We must direct our focus towards a more practical aspect of the issue'. I am not sure whether they are interchangeable, I wouldn't use them as such.

share|improve this answer
1  
I agree. If something is "directed at" something, it is aimed precisely at that one thing and nothing else. If something is "directed towards" something, it is aimed in the direction of that thing, and perhaps other things as well. Though the distinction is not quite as sharp as I may be implying. –  David Schwartz Oct 23 '11 at 21:14

protected by RegDwigнt Feb 4 '13 at 10:31

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.