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    #1

    southbound vs southwards

    hi,

    do these words mean exactly the same?

    I couldn't find any noticeable difference on the dictionary.

    what about northbound and northwards?

    do Canadians prefer the "x-bound" form?

    thanks a lot,
    JC

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    #2

    Re: southbound vs southwards

    They are different.

    southbound (adjective) = going towards the south
    A southbound train.

    southwards (adverb) = towards the south, in a southward direction
    We were driving southwards.

  1. #3

    Smile Re: southbound vs southwards

    So, there is no difference in meaning.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: southbound vs southwards

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakespeare's brother View Post
    So, there is no difference in meaning.
    Well yes. If a railway line goes one way and then doubles back, a southbound train can be travelling, for a short time, northwards. In this case, 'southbound' means 'having a southerly destination'.

    b

  3. #5

    Question Re: southbound vs southwards

    In that case could you say that you were driving southbound on the northbound section of motorway because you missed your turning when trying to get to a destination southwards of where you started?

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: southbound vs southwards

    PS
    For example, the train from London to Paris is a southbound train, but it's going northwards when it leaves London St Pancras.

    b

  5. #7

    Thumbs up Re: southbound vs southwards

    Bob, at that point it would be north bound. It's physically impossible to be southbound while heading in a northerly direction.

    (But we could go round in circles with this one.)

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    #8

    Re: southbound vs southwards

    Quote Originally Posted by Shakespeare's brother View Post
    Bob, at that point it would be north bound. It's physically impossible to be southbound while heading in a northerly direction.

    (But we could go round in circles with this one.)
    I agree about the circles . In my book, and I don't think I'm alone, the term 'southbound' with reference to railways can have more of an organizational than a geographical meaning. So as the Eurostar leaves the St Pancras, a member of the public would say 'that's a northbound train', but it would be listed as 'southbound' in the time-table.

    b

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    #9

    Re: southbound vs southwards

    hi,

    i think i have got the point but in the end it seems to be quite a polemical issue even for native speakers, right?

    thanks a lot,
    JC

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    #10

    Re: southbound vs southwards

    Quote Originally Posted by jctgf View Post
    hi,

    i think i have got the point but in the end it seems to be quite a polemical issue even for native speakers, right?

    thanks a lot,
    JC
    I wouldn't use those words. "Polemical" suggests some level of violence, and that it's an issue worth fighting about. You're right to think there's a level of disagreement, but my objection was quite tongue-in-cheek, as was the post I was responding to. I wouldn't like you to think that this is a point that native speakers lose a lot of sleep over!

    b

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