Forth vs fourth

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Forth and fourth are two words that are pronounced in the same manner but are spelled differently and have different meanings. They are homophones. We’ll look at the meaning and origin of forth and fourth, the difference between them, and look at a few examples of their use in sentences.

Forth means moving forward in space, time or degree, to progress away from a starting point, to emerge from hiding or inaction. Forth is an adverb that is generally considered a more literary or formal word, one that is not usually used in casual conversation. It is derived from the German words fort and vort, meaning forward or through.

Fourth describes something or someone organized in the position that comes after the third position and before the fifth position. Fourth is an ordinal number, which is a number that denotes the position of something or someone in a sequence. Fourth may also refer to a musical interval that involves the span of four notes, or a gear for a motor vehicle. In the United States, a fourth might refer to twenty-five percent of something or one quarter, three fourths may refer to seventy-five percent of something or three quarters. Fourth is used as an adjective or a noun, it is derived from the Old English word feorða.


So doubles players must switch their mind-set for the Open, and those who also play mixed doubles must shift back and forth from match to match. (The New York Times)

“(Wilkinson) subsequently filed an application for reinstatement with the disciplinary board, alleging he has complied with the reinstatement criteria set forth.” (The Louisiana Record)

Sales of existing Canadian homes fell 3.1 percent in August from July, the fourth straight monthly decline and the largest drop in nearly two years, a report from the Canadian Real Estate Association showed on Thursday. (Reuters)

Kaori Icho won a historic fourth straight gold medal and Japan claimed a clean sweep on the wrestling mat as Eri Tosaka and Sara Dosho also topped the podium at the Rio Olympics on Wednesday. (The Japan Times)