I shall make my final decision after/afterwards I have discussed the problem with my family.

As I found out, it means the same thing, but I have this sentence which confuses me. Can you help me understand the difference between them?

  • Welcome to English Language & Usage. Could you cite where you found out that they mean the same thing? Could you tell us if you think "after" or "afterwards" is more appropriate?
    – rajah9
    Jun 9, 2019 at 11:24
  • They only mean the same thing if they are the same part of speech, but that is the difference which an answer might address.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jun 9, 2019 at 11:27
  • You would have to say "I shall discuss it with my family and make my decision afterwards". Jun 9, 2019 at 16:51

1 Answer 1


Sometimes they are interchangeable, but not always. In your example, after is correct but afterwards is not.

Short technical answer – both are adverbs, but after can also be used as a preposition. After as a preposition is used to point the sentence to another place or time. As a preposition, after can come at the beginning of a sentence, at the end of a sentence, or between two clauses (like in your example). An adverb is used to qualify a verb or word group, often on the basis of time or space. It will usually come before a verb or word group, or at the beginning or end of a sentence. In your example afterwards is not clearly attached to the verb in either clause.



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