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Are these sentences different in meaning?

  1. She started to walk towards the door.
  2. She started to walk to the door.
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These sentences mean substantially the same thing but there is a subtle difference:

She started to walk toward the door.

This sentence gives her direction but not destination. It is implied that she started walking that way but has not gotten there yet and it is possible that the door is not her destination. She may or may not intend to stop somewhere in the room between her and the door.

She started to walk to the door.

Similar to the above, it seems that she is just getting started walking, but in this case we give the destination, so we know the door is where she is going. You would not use this if she was actually walking to a desk right next to the door or something. However, you would use this if she started to walk to the door as if to leave, but then someone else stopped her.

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