What people say: afterwards
Correct expression: afterward
Meaning: at a later time; subsequently
- I mopped the floor and had to be careful afterward to watch my step.
- If you have to tell Mary the bad news, try to say something positive afterward.
From the comments: Anonymous commented that afterwards is listed in some dictionaries, which led me to dig deeper. The Chicago Manual of Style points out that many directional words (toward, afterward, forward, upward, and so on) end in an 's' in British English. In American English, the conventional spelling is without an 's' at the end. Thank you, Anonymous!