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I was memorizing a specific sentence in a passage about photography, and I accidentally made a mistake of memorizing 'downward' as 'downwards'. I'm a non-native English speaker so I'm not quite familiar with subtle distinctions like this. Is there any contextual or grammatical difference between these two?

Here's the sentence:

Using the camera at your own head height works well for photographing adults, but for children will be tilted downward.

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    They're equivalent and interchangeable. The only real difference is that historically, Brits used to favour downwards. But Americans always liked downward better, and we're falling into line now. Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 13:52
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    ...which is the same with, for example, backward/backwards, forward/forwards, upward/upwards. But (rather curiously, imho) it's markedly "American" to use anyways instead of anyway as a colloquial "interjectory conjunction". Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 13:57
  • God I've always wondered the difference between anyways and anyway.. Thanks again for the additional explanation!
    – user324391
    Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 14:01
  • I think Americans are more likely to adopt "folksy regionalisms" into mainstream colloquial contexts (usually, with a degree of "facetiousness"). So besides anyways, you'll often hear anyhoo (from anyhow, which I think was originally a Scottish dialectalism, but I haven't checked). Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 14:06
  • As FumbleFingers says, they're interchangeable. For more, see the treatise on toward/towards here: english.stackexchange.com/questions/227755/… Commented Nov 15, 2018 at 16:35

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FumbleFingers commented:

They're equivalent and interchangeable. The only real difference is that historically,

Brits used to favour downwards

but

Americans always liked downward better

– and we're falling into line now.

... which is the same with, for example, backward/backwards, forward/forwards, upward/upwards.

But (rather curiously, imho) it's markedly "American" to use anyways instead of anyway as a colloquial "interjectory conjunction".

...

I think Americans are more likely to adopt "folksy regionalisms" into mainstream colloquial contexts (usually, with a degree of "facetiousness"). So besides anyways, you'll often hear anyhoo (from anyhow, which I think was originally a Scottish dialectalism, but I haven't checked).

I'd add that 'upwards mobility' is far rarer than 'upward mobility' even in the UK; this (dropping the s) is probably the case with other strong collocates/compounds (forward thinking; backward-looking ...). [EA]

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