Therefore is a popular word. If you have ever taken a course in formal logic, you will know that the word therefore is a staple of both deductive and inductive reasoning. Therefore signals that the argument has laid out all its premises and is now ready to conclude.
Therefor, however, is much less popular than therefore. It rarely appears outside of legal or financial documents. Even some experienced writers think that it is simply a misspelling of therefore.
Therefor, in fact, is its own separate word with its own meaning and usage cases.
What is the Difference Between Therefor and Therefore?
In this post, I will compare therefor vs. therefore. I will include example sentences for each of these words, so you can see what they look like in context.
Plus, I will outline a memory tool that you can use to help you remember whether to use therefor or therefore in your own writing.
When to Use Therefore
What does therefore mean? Therefore is an adverb that means for that reason, consequently. It is useful when concluding an argument and is a crucial piece of syllogisms in formal logic.
Here are a few ways therefore is used in a sentence.
- Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm; let nothing move you.
- You have ordered four beers and two shots of vodka tonight; therefore, your bill comes to $38.
- “The court therefore finds you guilty of 34 counts of arson, and sentences you to ten years in prison,” said the judge.
- Second, Snap’s underwriters should have greater access to Snapchat’s executives, and therefore, more information about the company. –Fortune
As mentioned above, therefore is much more common than therefor in ordinary prose, but that doesn’t mean therefor is incorrect.
When to Use Therefor
What does therefor mean? Therefor is also an adverb. It means for that purpose. Therefor is used only rarely, and usually in legal documents, where it is sometimes used to specify the reason for a reimbursement.
Here are a few examples of therefor in sentences,
- My client was unaware of the regulations concerning using personal money for resident expenditures, and takes no responsibility therefor.
- “The customer returned the dress and received compensation in the form of store credit therefor,” read Madeline aloud.
- Ingrid submitted her application, and the email contained all supporting documents therefor.
As you can see in the above examples, therefor is much more likely to appear at the end of a sentence, while therefore is more likely to appear near the beginning of a sentence.
Trick to Remember the Difference
Since therefore and therefor are both adverbs, and are spelled very similarly, knowing which one to use seems confusing. Since these words can be confusing, let’s go over a trick to remember therefore vs. therefor.
If you are using the word as a synonym for consequently, choose therefore. If the word could easily (if less accurately) be substituted with therein, use therefor instead.
Therefore is much more commonly found in everyday English. Since therefore has an extra E, the letter that begins English, you should be able to remember that therefore is an everyday word, while therefor is not.
Is it therefor or therefore? Therefor and therefore are adverbs.
- Therefore is a synonym of consequently.
- Therefor means for that purpose.
- Today, therefor chiefly appears in legal English.
Since therefore is used much more often in everyday writing, and has an extra E, like everyday, you will always know when to use this word.
Don’t forget, you can always use this article as a refresher is you get stuck choose therefore or therefor.