Therefore – Usage and Examples in a Sentence

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Therefore is a handy little adverb that connects two ideas, linking a cause to its logical effect. It’s great for tying sentences together in a meaningful—and let’s be honest, kinda scholarly—way. But many people wonder, should we put a comma after therefore or not? Yes, often when it is used to start a sentence or to separate two independent clauses, it should be followed by a comma.

In this post, I will not only explain what therefore means but also show you how to use it correctly in a sentence, comma included. Adverbs help modify verbs, making it clear how or why an action is happening.

So don’t go anywhere. If you’ve ever been stumped by this adverb, you won’t be after this. Get ready to upgrade your writing game!

Therefore – Usage Examples in a Sentence

Use the conjunctive adverb therefore to show cause and effect and improve your sentence flow. You may also use it to substitute transition words with the same meaning, like “as a result” and “thus.” For example, “It snowed today. Therefore, I was late for work.”

Therefore Punctuation Rules

There are two ways to punctuate therefore. First, use a comma when the sentence starts with therefore—for example:

  • Incorrect: The players were my heroes, therefore, my dad was my hero because he was the coach. (This is a run-on sentence).
  • Correct: The players were my heroes. Therefore, my dad was my hero because he was the coach.

A semicolon is also a proper way to punctuate therefore—for example:

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

Also, there are instances where you don’t need to punctuate. Add a conjunction along with therefore to connect two independent clauses—for example:

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

A punctuation mark is also unnecessary when therefore is used as an adverb—for example:

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

The 14th Century: First Known Use Of Therefore

Therefore was first used in the 14th century. It comes from the Old English word þærfore. Therfor has been used since the 1800s to mean “for that” or “by reason of that.” Therefore is also used to mean “in consequence of that.”

Examples Of Using Therefore In The Middle Of A Sentence

Therefore – Usage Examples in a Sentence 1

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]

  • Jonah was bawling his eyes out. Therefore, he may be hurting.
  • My best friend is the most hardworking; therefore, he got the promotion.

What Can I Use Instead Of Therefore?

Below is a list of synonyms for therefore.

  • Accordingly
  • Thus
  • Consequently
  • Wherefore
  • Ergo
  • Then
  • Hence
  • So
  • As a result

Statistics for Therefore

The use of therefore started to rise in the 1800s and peaked in 1814 at 0.053%. It has been falling steadily since, with only 0.013% in 2019. 

therefore usage

Despite the decline in the use of therefore, it remains more widely used than as a result, accordingly, ergo, and consequently

therefore vs as a result vs accoringly vs consequently vs ergo

Therefore in a Nutshell

When Rene Descartes said, “I think, therefore I am,” he meant that one’s ability to think leads to the acknowledgment of their existence. Therefore, the word therefore indicates that something occurs because of something else. 

Now, do you feel comfortable using and punctuating therefore in sentences? When using the transition word, always include a comma, semicolon, or no punctuation if it’s used as an adverb.

You might also be interested in the difference between therefore and therefor.