As an adverb, what is the difference between forward and forwards?

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    You asked this (pretty good) question only to close it later. Is this usual in StackExchange practice?
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    Sep 23, 2016 at 6:08
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    Reopen please!!
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    May 17, 2020 at 14:06
  • Please don't reopen this without the OP explaining what research they have already done in order to try to answer the question themself. May 28, 2020 at 5:26
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    I think this should be reopened. It is a simple, on-topic and clear question with a simple and clear answer, and my Google search on the same topic led me here. Aren't Stacks in the business of capturing and promoting clear questions with clear answers? Nov 2, 2022 at 14:12

1 Answer 1


The OED says this

The present distinction in usage between forward and forwards is that the latter expresses a definite direction viewed in contrast with other directions. In some contexts either form may be used without perceptible difference of meaning; the following are examples in which only one of them can now be used: ‘The ratchet-wheel can move only forwards’; ‘the right side of the paper has the maker's name reading forwards’; ‘if you move at all it must be forwards’; ‘my companion has gone forward’; ‘to bring a matter forward’; ‘from this time forward’. The usage of earlier periods, and of modern dialects, varies greatly from that of mod. standard English. In U.S. forward is now generally used, to the exclusion of forwards, which was stigmatized by Webster (1832) as ‘a corruption’.

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