The Suffix -WARD 

Hi English learners. Welcome to a new lesson. We will look at the words using the suffix -ward.

We use the suffix -ward with the nouns (homeward, eastward) and prepositions (inward, forward) to form adjectives which denote direction.

Here is the list of the words using the suffix -ward:

  • Upward
  • Downward
  • Leftward/rightward
  • Forward
  • Backward
  • Toward
  • Homeward
  • Seaward
  • Afterwards
  • Inward
  • Eastward (westward, northward, southward)
  • Heavenward
  • Windward

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Meaning: pointing or moving up.

  • Prices of oil show an upward tendency.
  • When she called its name, the dog gave her an upward look.


Meaning: pointing or moving down.

  • The singer’s popularity was on a downward spiral.
  • The research showed a downward trend in sales.


Meaning: towards the left (right)

  • The new leadership seems to push the country in a leftward direction.
  • When you read English, you have to move your eyes in the rightward direction.


Meaning: in the direction that is in front.

  • Monica leaned forward to take the milk.
  • This is a big step forward regarding negotiations between the two countries.


Meaning: in the direction that is opposite from where you are facing.

  • Martin made a backward step when he saw a dog.
  • The gymnast did an amazing backward somersault.


Meaning: in the direction of.

  • A man was walking toward the building.
  • The theatre audience was moving toward the exit.


Meaning: toward home.

  • It was getting dark, so Sean decided to drive homeward.
  • The train was full of commuters heading homeward.


Meaning: in the direction of the sea.

  • When he looked seaward, he could see a huge ship.
  • There was moss growing on the seaward wall of the house.


Meaning: after the time mentioned.

  • They had lunch, and right afterward they went for a walk.
  • Would you be kind to stay afterward and help us tidy up?


Meaning: toward the inside.

  • The door of the room was opening inward.
  • When he pressed the ball, it bent inward.

Eastward (westward, northward, southward)

Meaning: in the direction of the east (west, north, south).

  • The soldiers were marching northward, over the hills.
  • Tom followed the road leading southward.


Meaning: towards heaven.

  • Simon lifted his eyes heavenward.
  • The violets were fighting their way heavenward.


Meaning: towards the direction the wind is blowing from.

  • The yacht was sailing windward.
  • The village was placed on the windward part of the coast.

The difference between the suffixes “-ward” and “-wards”

While we use the suffix -ward to form adjectives, -wards is used to form adverbs.

  • The graph showed a downward trend. (adjective describing a noun trend)
  • The man was sitting facing downwards. (an adverb showing direction)

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Suffix -WARD
Suffix -WARD

My Lingua Academy

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1 Comment

Ashok Choithani · 3 Apr 2023 at 8:28 am

Thank you teacher for giving better understanding of wards.

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