What's the difference between Straight ahead & Straightforward? I've just checked some dictionaries, but still no luck. I've heard people say "You need to go straight ahead" to Taxi drivers, while some say "go straightforward". What's the difference?

  • I have never seen straightforward being used in direction's sense, it means simple,easy etc. like 'this question is pretty straightforward'. Note that there is no space between straight and forward, it is one single word
    – Max
    Mar 26, 2013 at 10:31

2 Answers 2


Straight forward and straight ahead mean the same thing. Straight forward and straightforward are two different terms, though they are obviously related.

  • Straight forward describes the path which motion follows or should follow: to one's front, forward, and in a straight line, without turning. It is usually employed as an adverb, “Go straight forward” or “The path ran straight forward into the forest”, but it could be used as an adjective in limited contexts: “The paths to the side were overgrown, but that straight forward was clear.”

  • Straightforward is an adjective which employs the adverb phrase in figurative senses to mean ‘simple’ —that is, not folded or turning, as the metaphors ‘complicated’ and ‘recursive’ suggest—or ‘honest, frank’—that is, not turning aside from or avoiding the truth, as the metaphors ‘devious’ and ‘evasive’ suggest.


Ahead and forward in a directional sense mean to go in the same direction you are currently facing.

Straightforward or the alternative spelling of two words 'straight forward' means something is uncomplicated. 'Straight' can be thought to mean simple whilst 'forward' probably forms part of the phrase because as a verb it gives the doing-of-something meaning.


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