Backward vs Backwards grammar is connected to whether you are referring to American or British usages.
Backward can be an adverb or an adjective. As an adjective it means less progress or undeveloped, but it can also refer to direction. As an adverb it indicates direction only.
Backwards with as 's' is used in British English, but it can only be used with the 's' as an adverb.
Let's learn more with examples.
When we are using backward as an adjective, you can only use the word without the 's'.
It has two meanings:
Let's take a look at some examples for both:
This can firstly be in relation to a person's intelligence in reference to learning difficulties.
However, it is a dated (old) word and is considered offensive (rude) to many people, so it should be avoided in general.
In a similar way, it can also be used to talk about how modern something is. Here backward means less progress has been made or something is regressive.
In this meaning, it is towards the direction that is the opposite to the one in which you are facing.
As it's being used as an adjective, it will come before a noun. This is a much less common use of the word than you'll find with the adverb (below).
When backward is being used as an adverb, it can be used with or without the 's'.
The difference actually comes down to the British or American usage. Americans tend to omit the 's', the British tend to add the 's'.
The meaning is the same as we looked at for the adjective, which is "towards the direction that is the opposite to the one in which you are facing". But of course it is used as an adverb instead.
The word can be used in a variety of ways to indicate a movement that is opposite to a forwards direction.
So which should you use when thinking about Backward vs Backwards grammar?
Adjective: Use backward as an 's' can't be added
Adverb: Use backwards in the UK and backward in the US
Of course, just use the word backward without the 's' and you can never go wrong, as long as you are using it in a context where American English is acceptable, and this should be anywhere.
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