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Hi and welcome to TransLegal’s lesson of the week. My name is Bob.

Today I’m going to talk about two words that are used quite often by lawyers. Unfortunately, because they look and they sound the same, they are mixed up or used improperly. The words are therefore with an E at the end, and therefor without an E at the end.

The worst thing about these two words is that even the best non-native English speakers get it wrong. I remember many times sending great translations back to our clients and the client would send it back to me saying, “Hey, this is a great translation Rob, but could you please change it such that all the therefors without the E”, which they assumed were misspellings, “are changed to therefore with the E.”

So what’s the difference between these two words?

Well, therefore means ‘for that reason’ or ‘consequently’ or ‘thus’, whereas therefor without the E just means ‘for that’ or ‘for it’.

So some examples of therefore – a good sentence of therefore with an E would be:

“Therefore the Court found the evidence unconvincing”

Whereas for therefor without the E, a good sentence would be:

“The applicant must submit the application form and any supporting documentation therefor in two weeks’ time”.

The therefor means ‘for it’, the ‘it’ being the application.

Just remember that there’s a difference and if you’re not sure, check TransLegal’s dictionary, you shouldn’t have a problem.

That’s all for today, and remember if you’ve got any questions or comments, put them in the comments box below and we’ll get back to you. Good luck and see you next time.

Robert Houser

Robert N. Houser, B.A., J.D., LL.M.
Director of Language Assessment Services

Born: Philadelphia, USA. Admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Practiced 5 years in the areas of commercial and tort law litigation. Practice included numerous trials and appeals before the Superior Court of Pennsylvania. Received his Master’s degree in European Law from Stockholm University. Lecturer in EC Procedural Law and coach of the Stockholm University European Moot Court 1997-1998, 1999-2002. Director of EC Procedural Law (2001-2002) at Stockholm University. Co-author (TransLegal) of the "International Legal English" book published by Cambridge University Press and chief advisor at TransLegal for the Cambridge University ESOL “International Legal English Certificate” (ILEC) examination.

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