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How to Use “Therefore” Correctly (Grammar + Examples)

How do you use “therefore” correctly? You’re in the middle of writing an important email, or you’re giving a presentation, and you realize that you’ve made a mistake. It is one of the most commonly misused words in the English language: therefore. Don’t worry – you’re not alone! In fact, even some of the best writers and speakers make this mistake from time to time. But don’t fret – learning to use “therefore” correctly is easier than you think.

How to use "therefore" correctly
How to use “therefore” correctly

What exactly is “therefore”?

Therefore” is a conjunction used to connect two clauses. The first clause is always in the form of “because” + noun or pronoun + verb, and the second clause is the result of the first clause. In other words, “therefore” means “as a result.” Here’s an example:

I didn’t get a good night’s sleep, therefore I’m feeling tired today.

In this sentence, the first clause (“I didn’t get a good night’s sleep”) is the reason for the second clause (“I’m feeling tired today”).

There are three main situations where to use a comma after the word “therefore.” They are:

How to Use Therefore in a Sentence

When written properly, the word “thereforecan emphasize and intrigue your sentences. It indicates a logical conclusion or consequence – “I haven’t eaten all day; therefore, I am extremely hungry.” 

It can also be used to introduce a solution – “The deadline is quickly approaching; therefore, we must work faster.”

Also, “therefore” can be used as a transitional phrase to connect two related thoughts – “It’s been raining for days; therefore, the trail is likely to be muddy.” So, sprinkle some “therefore” into your writing for added logic and flair.

Avoid comma splices

When writing a sentence with the word “therefore”, it’s important to avoid comma splices. A comma splice occurs when two independent clauses are joined together with a comma without a conjunction, such as “and” or “but”.

Here’s an example of a comma splice:

I like apples, therefore, I am going to the grocery store.

To fix a comma splice, connect the two clauses with a conjunction such as “and” or “but.” You can also use a semicolon if the two clauses are closely related. Here’s how the sentence could be rewritten using one of those methods:

I like apples; therefore, I am going to the grocery store.

Place a semicolon before “therefore”

Place a semicolon (;) before “therefore” when separating independent clauses. Doing so will prevent a run-on sentence. For example:

I like to go running; therefore, I wake up early. 

Use therefore sparingly

There is no need to use the word “therefore” every time you make a logical connection between two sentences. In fact, doing so will make your writing sound choppy and unnatural.

It’s best to use the word “therefore” only when you want to emphasize the logical connection between two sentences. You can also use it to show that one sentence follows from another. If you don’t need to emphasize the connection or if the connection is already clear from the context, then it’s best to leave out the word.


To maintain a professional tone, it is important to correctly use the word “therefore”. If you are unsure how to use the word, consult a dictionary or usage guide. 


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About the author

Dalia Y.: Dalia is an English Major and linguistics expert with an additional degree in Psychology. Dalia has featured articles on Forbes, Inc, Fast Company, Grammarly, and many more. She covers English, ESL, and all things grammar on GrammarBrain.

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