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He is hungry, therefore he ate.

I do not understand how therefore is an adverb. It does not modify the verb hungry in this case, in any way. I understand it is a conjunctive adverb but it is still an adverb right?

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    It would modify ate. However, I've looked up so, and though it has a lot of uses, it is called a conjunction with examples where it is directly replaceable by therefore, so I don't understand why therefore can't be called a conjunction too. Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 1:30
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    A connective adjunct. Probably an adverb because it means "for this reason", which would typically have an adverbial meaning.
    – BillJ
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 11:15
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    Note that many people would complain about a comma splice in that sentence. Whether or not you consider that sentence acceptable will likely affect whether or not you consider "therefore" a conjunction, adverb, or something else. Commented Sep 28, 2022 at 0:39

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Any word that modifies a verb by saying when, where, how or why the action took place is an adverb. Because it unites the adverbial clause with "He was hungry" it can be considered as a relative conjunction.

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  • "therefore" can be considered as a relative conjunction
    – Aled Cymro
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 20:53
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"Therefore" was usually listed as an illative conjunction (indicating a conclusion), or sometimes as a conjunctive adverb (having the force both of an adverb and a conjunction).

In most books on logic, "therefore" is called simply an "illative conjunction." In some older grammar books, however, the term "conjunctive adverb" is still used.

"Hungry" is an adjective, not a verb; but it would seem that the adverbial character of "therefore" could be relating to the verb "ate", as in "He was hungry; he therefore ate."

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  • Yes, a connective adjunct. Probably an adverb because it means "for this reason".
    – BillJ
    Commented Sep 27, 2022 at 11:13

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