Therefore and therefor …

This week we answer a reader’s question.

Dear Scribe: 

Please discuss the difference between “therefore” and “therefor.”  I understand the difference, but it seems that not everyone does.

Sincerely,

Frustrated

Dear Frustrated:

Once again we encounter the challenge posed by words that sound alike but have different spellings and meanings.

“Therefore” means “consequently” or “for that reason.”  Here’s an example:  

The owner of the Dodgers spent the team’s money foolishly, therefore the team filed bankruptcy.

“Therefor” means something entirely different.  It means “for that” or “for it.”  Here’s an example:  

The Oregon Ducks won the 2012 Rose Bowl and received a magnificent trophy therefor.

As you can see, the word “therefor” seems archaic and clunky; therefore, most commentators recommend against using it.

That is all for now …

1 Comment

Filed under Troublesome Words, Uncategorized

One response to “Therefore and therefor …

  1. Windy Wilson

    Therefor is not only archaic-sounding and clunky in English, it is a common construction in German, and, of course, in legalese, “transmitted herewith”.

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