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Therefore

The adverb therefore should be used with caution, as it is often at the center of run-on sentences. Therefore is not conventionally considered a conjunction, so it cannot fuse two independent clauses into a single sentence the way conjunctions like and, but, and because can. For example, the following sentences are run-ons because they use therefore as a conjunction introducing an independent clause:

The players were my heroes, therefore, my dad was my hero because he was the coach. [transcribed in Houston Chronicle]

The European Central Bank and the EU itself will not jeopardize their existence, therefore they will do everything they can to maintain the euro and, therefore, Greek solvency. [Wall Street Journal]

However, most have less difficulty in choosing their network of preference, therefore it certainly becomes a little simpler to narrow down the choices. [Headline News]

There are a few ways to fix sentences like these. One, make the clause beginning with therefore a separate sentence:

The players were my heroes. Therefore, my dad was my hero because he was the coach.

Two, use a semicolon instead of a comma:

The players were my heroes; therefore, my dad was my hero because he was the coach.

Or three, add a conjunction to link the two independent clauses:

The players were my heroes, and therefore my dad was my hero because he was the coach.

But when therefore is an adverb, it works perfectly well in the middle of a sentence—for example:

The roads in Amsterdam are more vacant and therefore the cab drivers can speed and manoeuvre along more easily. [Calgary Herald]

Cameron’s under pressure from the Tory right for being a softie and, therefore, promised tougher action on the tabloid bad guys. [Guardian]

So they discuss how they can position him to serve the maximum time, therefore keeping him off the streets in the future. [New York Daily News]

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Comments

  1. Could you elaborate on the last part of this guide? I cant see how its usage in the last examples is any different to the first few examples?

  2. StevenR11 says:

    I also am struggling with the last part of the guide here.

  3. StevenR11 says:

    In the last part, first sentence, I believe this should be: “The roads in Amsterdam are more vacant, and therefore the cab drivers can speed and manoeuvre along more easily.

    The second last sentence from the Guardian is perfect as “promised tougher action on the tabloid bad guys.” is not an independent clause.

    The last sentence does not seem like a proper sentence to me; instead, the joining together of dependent clauses with therefore as the link..

  4. The last part the word ‘therefore’ use as a adverb. It means it can be interchangeable with words such as ‘subsequently’ or ‘accordingly’. That is why the last sentence is correct.

  5. Yang Mengbi says:

    In the last part the word ‘therefore’ was used as an adverb. It means it can be interchangeable with words such as ‘subsequently’ or ‘accordingly’. Then the last sentence should be correct.

  6. Michelle Wruck says:

    “Therefore does he call these moments ‘being-time.'” Is this not correct usage?

  7. What about this example:
    “They may charge someone up to 30%; therefore…”
    Would you put a comma, semicolon, or a period?

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