Is it correct to write "therefore do not" in a sentence? Obviously I've seen it being used in the Bible but not a lot else where.

2 Answers 2


There is nothing wrong with it. Both therefore and do not are a little formal: a more colloquial form would be so don't ...


I have always found that citing a usage precedent from the Bible (KJV) suffices to silence any carping copy-editor, so feel free to use therefore to introduce an imperative. In so doing, you are flagging the logical relationship between that imperative and what has gone before, namely reasons for doing (or refraining from doing) as you bid.

This kind of reasoning, according to a distinction that I particularly associate with George Campbell’s Philosophy of Rhetoric (Bk. I Ch. i), is a matter of persuading one’s audience to act or refrain, as distinct from convincing them that such-and-such is or is not the case (which would involve therefore’s introducing an indicative clause). Most modern usages of therefore have for context efforts to convince, not persuade, in these terms. Where the context is an effort to persuade, so is often preferred over therefore, not necessarily as less formal but as a little less ostentatiously logical. The decline of therefore with imperative may be attributable to a decline in the faith in reason as guide to conduct.

  • I'm writing hostel regulations so I guess I could be a little formal. Thanks for answering! Dec 2, 2014 at 2:20

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