Therefore, hence, so, then, thus etc

July 26, 2011pdf

We use a number of expressions to show that what is said follows logically from what was said before.

Keywords are:

Therefore, as a result, so, then, consequently

  • She was therefore unable to find a solution.
  • So she had to quit her job.
  • I think; therefore I am.
  • ‘We have missed the train.’ ‘Then we are going to have to hire a taxi.’
  • They grew up in Japan; hence their interest in Zen Buddhism.
  • He sustained severe injuries and, consequently, spent the rest of his life in a wheel chair.

Therefore is common in mathematical proofs.

Hence and thus

Hence and thus have the same basic meaning and are often interchangeable. However, there is a slight difference. Hence usually refers to the future. Thus usually refers to the past. It is often used to indicate a conclusion.

  • Both sides played well, thus no winner was declared.
  • The situation is getting more and more complicated. Hence we will have to proceed with caution. (NOT Thus we will have to proceed with caution.)

So and then
There is a difference between then and so. Then is used when one speaker replies to another. So can be used in both ways.

  • ‘The last bus has gone.’ ‘So/ then we will have to walk.’ (Two speakers)
  • ‘The last bus has gone, so we will have to walk. (NOT ‘The last bus has gone, then we will have to walk’) (Same speaker)
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