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As a reference to a stand of trees, "wood" and "woods" are used interchangeably by some. Some writers use "the" in front of wood as a noun, as in, "Lore states he entered the wood 100 years ago." However, "woods" is the appropriate word for a "stand of timber, trees, and grasses (weeds) or other plant life". Example:

Sally enjoyed hiking in the woods near her home.

Wood (no 's') can also be used to describe both one piece of lumber OR more than one piece of lumber. Often, writers include "piece of.." before the word wood to designate one item, or "stack of..." or "pile of..." to designate many.

John moved the wood and carried it to the barn. (Here, it is unclear whether he moved one piece or many pieces.)

John moved the piece of wood and carried it to the barn.

John moved the pile of wood and carried it to the barn.

IMPROPER-- because most people would think "stand of trees" or forest" so using "woods" here would sound silly.

John carried woods to the barn.

John carried the woods to the barn.


I can carry a piece of the woods back with me and take it to the barn. But, the reader would not know WHAT piece-- did I pick up a rotted limb; a flower; a fern; a rock... all of which could be "a piece of the woods" that I visited. Some writers might use that sentence to describe carrying a feeling or sensation that "woods" might create--for me, in me. I am carrying back something I felt, not a tangible "piece of the woods".

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Q: What is the difference between 'wood' and 'woods'?
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