Language Rules

Definately Fixing Alot Of Americas Grammar 1 Word At A Thyme

After Words

with 4 comments

I’m slightly embarrassed to say I’ve never consciously realized that there is a difference between “afterword” and “afterward” (or “afterwards”). I wonder how many times I’ve confused these words (probably not terribly many, since, not having written many any books anything containing epilogues, I’ve had little occasion to throw “afterword” around).

afterword, n. A passage added at the end of a book, etc., as an epilogue or the like.

afterward, adv. Of time: In time following, subsequently.

afterwards, adv. At a later time, subsequently.

[from the Oxford English Dictionary]

Written by benferguson

2006 Aug 22 at 12:43

Posted in grammar

4 Responses

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  1. Please use “afterward” the adverb and “afterwards” the adverb in sentences for me. Do you use them identically?

    sillylauralonglegs

    2006 Sep 2 at 19:57

  2. In my understanding, they are, for all intents and purposes, essentially identical. In my experience, I’ve seen “afterwards” more often come as an adverb at the beginning of a sentence (e.g., “We went to the game. Afterwards, we went to the store.”), whereas I’ve seen “afterward” come later (e.g., “We went to the game. We went to the store afterward.”) Whether there’s a rule behind the different uses of the two, I’m not sure, so I suppose that’s simply a descriptive observation rather than a prescriptive suggestion.

    nosugrefneb

    2006 Sep 3 at 08:12

  3. […] via Language Rules… […]

  4. Always use “afterward”. Never use “afterwards”. The Rule – Whenever possible, always save your sweet “s”.

    They are the same. Therefore the “s” in “afterwards” is superfluous.

    John Evo

    2010 Nov 16 at 03:51


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