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'?
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. "To" and "toward" are not interchangeable in this context.
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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?
AnonymousWho can please make a comment on my post? I would like to know what the answer would be. Thank you very much.
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.
"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.
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.