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therefor or therefore

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  #1  
Old 12-28-2012, 03:17 PM
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Default therefor or therefore


Which is correct?
I've always written 'therefor', because I assumed the root was a contraction of 'only there for' (or something along those lines), which is now used in more ways than the original phrase.

...Janet was only there for Michael, she'd never ordinarily come to a place like this...

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Old 12-29-2012, 03:23 AM
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It depends. Both exist but they are not the same thing. Found this that expresses it better than I would.

therefor: adv. for that [thing]; for that, for it
Ex. I will give you my pocket knife if you will give me your watch therefor.

therefore: adv.consequently, hence
Ex. I think, therefore I am. I was afraid; therefore I ran.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Front&Centre View Post
Which is correct?
I've always written 'therefor', because I assumed the root was a contraction of 'only there for' (or something along those lines), which is now used in more ways than the original phrase.

...Janet was only there for Michael, she'd never ordinarily come to a place like this...
No, it isn't a contraction of "there for", at least not in the sense of your example sentence. It has a long history, originating with the Middle English şerfore. As has been pointed out by the previous poster, there are two spellings, therefore and therefor, with different meanings. In fact, both originate in the same word, but have diverged in meaning over the centuries. The difference in spelling is largely for the purpose of marking the distinction in meaning.

I hope this helps.
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Old 12-29-2012, 04:14 AM
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Yay! Love it when I learn something new.
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Rabulder View Post
It depends. Both exist but they are not the same thing. Found this that expresses it better than I would.

therefor: adv. for that [thing]; for that, for it
Ex. I will give you my pocket knife if you will give me your watch therefor.

therefore: adv.consequently, hence
Ex. I think, therefore I am. I was afraid; therefore I ran.
Would you say that therefor is similar to therein?
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Old 12-29-2012, 05:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Front&Centre View Post
Which is correct?
I've always written 'therefor', because I assumed the root was a contraction of 'only there for' (or something along those lines), which is now used in more ways than the original phrase.

...Janet was only there for Michael, she'd never ordinarily come to a place like this...
Interesting because I have never heard of therefor until now. I only knew of therefore with an E. Oh well now that you have mentioned it I'd rather still go with what I initially knew.
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Old 12-29-2012, 07:19 AM
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Me too, incidentally.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Nacia View Post
Would you say that therefor is similar to therein?
No.

Therein means roughly in that place, time or in that circumstance etc.
Whereas therefor as in the example I provided means for that. As in I'll give you my stick for that rock. Or more lawyerly: I'll give you my stick if you give me your rock therefor.

Therein lies the difference.

Unless of course you meant to ask if they occur under similar circumstances then yes I suppose.
Therefor is only really used in legal texts. Therein is also more used by lawyers but is a bit more common in my experience.

Last edited by Rabulder; 12-29-2012 at 08:16 AM..
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:12 PM
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I always thought it looked a little wrong somehow...

*opens all documents,
ctrl + F "therefor"
replace with: "therefore"*
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