“To” = destination reached.
“Toward” = going in that direction, but not there yet
Both words indicate a direction. The difference is whether or not the destination is reached.
- The dog ran to the house.
- (Picture the dog going through the door.)
- The dog ran toward the house.
- (Picture the dog running, the house just a few feet away.)
- The wildfire raced to the barn.
- (Picture the barn burning.)
- The wildfire raced toward the barn.
- (Picture the firemen attempting to save the barn as the water shoots upward from their hoses.)
- You can take this road to the campground.
- (Picture the campground at the end of the road.)
- You can take this road toward the campground.
- (The road goes in that direction, but it may not reach the campground.)
- She pointed to the house.
- (You can see the house if you look in the direction she is pointing.)
- She pointed toward the house.
- (If the trees or the hill or the smoke did not block your view, you could see the house.)