There seems to be some ambiguity to the use of 'wood' in sentences. I have heard both of the following:

I went into the woods
I went into the wood

Which one should I use and when?

  • If you're in the U.S., you should use woods. In the U.K., I don't know – some speakers may actually see a distinction between the two. Apr 13, 2017 at 15:07
  • @PeterShor Yeah I'm in the UK Apr 13, 2017 at 15:08

2 Answers 2


In American English it should be "into the woods". This Google Ngram shows that it has always been far more common, and it's currently about 6 times more common.

In British English they're much closer, and if you go back a few decades they were very close, and about a hundred years ago "into the wood" was actually a little more common. But the "into the woods" is currently more preferred, and is on the increase (perhaps due to influence from American popular culture).

Maybe the popular play and movie "Into the Woods" has also influenced recent use.


Either can be used to refer to a forested area. "Wood" refers to a delineated area larger than a grove but smaller than a forest. "Woods" refers to the forest generally without the suggestion of a delineated area1.

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