Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm a non-native English speaker, and my automatic spellchecker seems to accept both therefore and therefor. Is one orthography preferred ? Is that a British vs. American difference ? Or an old vs. more recent orthography ? Or something else ?

share|improve this question
You could look it up: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/therefor –  JeffSahol Feb 20 '12 at 17:47
add comment

closed as general reference by Cerberus, FumbleFingers, RegDwigнt Feb 20 '12 at 22:20

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2 Answers

up vote 18 down vote accepted

Therefor means for that.

For example:

Here we sell guitars and accessories therefor.

Therefor is one of a whole series of adverbs: thereof (of that), thereafter(after that), therein (in there), etc.

If you are familiar with German - the Germanic sister of English - you can find a direct analogy there:

for = für

therefor, for that = dafür (literally, therefor)

Therefore, as you must know, means as a (logical) consequence

share|improve this answer
+1: that's the only way I could make sense of dafür, davon, darauf, etc. in German class –  Jason S Feb 20 '12 at 18:32
add comment

Therefore and therefor are completely different words.

Therefor, an archaic word, means "for this", "for that", or "for it". E.g;

... ordering goods and enclosing payment therefor.

Therefore means "for that reason" or "hence".E.g;

Those people have their umbrellas up: therefore, it must be raining

share|improve this answer
I wouldn't say therefor is archaic. Its usage is not uncommon, especially in legal documents. –  Armen Ծիրունյան Feb 21 '12 at 11:59
This answer explains the difference more directly than Armen's answer. –  Mike Kormendy Mar 2 at 3:30
add comment

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.