'Therefor' or 'Therefore': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Carly Forsaith, updated on January 7, 2023

Wondering whether to use 'therefor' or 'therefore' in a sentence? Read this article to understand the difference between the two and when to use which.

In short:

  • 'Therefor' is a rarely used word that means 'for it,' and 'therefore' is a more common word that means 'as a result.'

'Therefor' or 'Therefore': What is the Difference?

So let's talk about the differences between each word. But first, let's look at the similarities. For starters, 'therefor' and 'therefore' are both adverbs. This means they modify a verb, an adjective, or another adverb.

But despite the similarity in spelling - only one letter separates them - they have completely different meanings.

'Therefor' is synonymous with 'for it,' 'for that,' 'for this,' or 'in return for it, that or this.' It's primarily used in legal contexts these days, so unless you're writing in a legal setting or for a legal audience, chances are you won't use this word much.

'Therefore' is synonymous with 'as a result,' 'consequently,' or 'to that end.'

When to Use 'Therefor'

As I mentioned, 'therefor' is a somewhat archaic word; if you see it, it's most likely in a legal setting. Therefore, to know when you should use the word 'therefor,' just look at the context. And if you're trying to say something along the lines of 'for it,' then use 'therefor.'

Let's look at some example sentences:

He was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to seven years in prison therefor.

In order to effect change and pass new legislation, you first need a petition therefor.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but although the request for a change in the contract has been accepted, until the payment therefor has been made, we won't be able to move ahead.

Top tip! 'Therefor' is more likely to appear towards the end of a sentence.

When to Use 'Therefore'

'Therefore' is a way to conclude a discussion. If you've made your case, presented your arguments, and feel your point has been made, you can move on to your conclusion, using the word 'therefore' as an introduction. It's synonymous with 'consequently.' For example:

Great minds think alike, therefore I agree with you.

He's the boss; therefore, it's his responsibility to keep employee morale up.

Therefore we should be prepared for some backlash.

As you can see from the examples above, 'therefore' is sometimes used to start a sentence or as a conjunction to connect two independent clauses. When used at the beginning of a sentence, it's implied that the previous sentences presented the concluding arguments the word 'therefore' introduces. When used in the middle of a sentence, 'therefore' can be called a "conjunctive adverb."

Top tip! 'Therefore' is more likely to appear toward the beginning of a sentence. It can also appear in the middle of a sentence connecting two clauses.

Final Thoughts on Using 'Therfore' or 'Therefore'

So you see, the difference is not that hard to grasp. Just remember that the longer word 'therefore' is the most frequently used. Unless you're in the legal profession, memorize that one. And if you want a trick to remember the difference, bear in mind that 'therefor' has 'for' in it, so that should help you not forget that it means 'for that.'

Check out our blog for more helpful articles on confusing words and varied spellings. You'll be sure to improve your English writing in no time!

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Written By:
Carly Forsaith
Carly Forsaith is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Carly is a copywriter who has been writing about the English language for over 3 years. Before that, she was a teacher in Thailand, helping people learn English as a second language. She is a total grammar nerd and spends her time spotting language errors on signs and on the internet.

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