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Anonymous:
Hi,

The example is from dictionary:
'He has a very bad attitude to/towards work.'

Do the preposition 'to' and 'towards' mean the same here and are they usually interchangeable when used with 'attitude'?
Thanks
Anonymous
Hi,

The example is from dictionary:
'He has a very bad attitude to/towards work.'

Do the preposition 'to' and 'towards' mean the same here and are they usually interchangeable when used with 'attitude'?
Thanks

Anon,

This is one of those questions that learners find confusing.

In most contexts containing the word “attitude”, I’ll say the correct word is “toward”. It’s almost like gloves are for hands and socks for feet. They go together. Emotion: big smile "To" and "toward" are not interchangeable in this context.

Opinions on

Attitude toward
Senior Member3,816
Anonymous:
Hi Goodman,

First, thank you very much for your answer.
After reading your reply, I'm still confused. According to the dictionary, 'to' is also used with 'attitude' in the example, why do't you think it is fine here? What is the difference between them? Could you please explain it?

Thanks
Anonymous:
Anonymous
Hi Goodman,

First, thank you very much for your answer.
After reading your reply, I'm still confused. According to the dictionary, 'to' is also used with 'attitude' in the example, why don't you think it is fine here? What is the difference between them if they are not interchangeable? Could you please explain that?

Thanks

Who can please make a comment on my post? I would like to know what the answer would be. Thank you very much.
The example in your dictionary is written with to/towards to show that the editors of the dictionary believe that to and towards can be used interchangeably in that context. They are saying that some people prefer one, and some people prefer the other.

Personally, like Goodman, I would use toward in that sentence. (toward and towards are variants of the same word.) That's my preference. You will meet people who prefer to instead.

CJ
Veteran Member53,327
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Like the others, I would also choose 'towards' for your sentence. But I don't think they are interchangeable.

"To" is a destination.
Walk to the mall. Your destination is the mall.

"Toward/Towards" is a direction.
Walk towards the mall. Your destination is still unknown, but you know in which direction to walk.

Walk towards the mall, turn right on 2nd Avenue, go to the McDonald's after the first intersection and get me a double double cheese cheese burger burger please.
Full Member179
Yes, but I think the difference is neutralized when it's not a question of physical movement -- or at least the dictionary editors think so. Here it's a question of an attitude to or towards work, not a drive to or towards work.

CJ
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True. There is no physical movement in this case. I just used typical examples to illustrate the concepts. But I think "very bad attitude" still needs to be directed at something.

This is why I would still use "towards" even though the Cambridge editors do seem to suggest that to and towards can be used interchangeably for the "attitude" sentence.

To retain its essence, using "to," I would rather say it like any of these.
He has a very bad attitude:
- with respect to work.
- with regard to work.
- in reference to work.
(or, in a more casual way)
- when it comes to work.
Anonymous:
Hi, CJ and Arvsworld, Thank you both very much for your comments.
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