consequently / hence / thus


Senior Member
I would like to know the exact differences between these three linking words: consequently / hence / thus.

I would say:

"but unfortunately we went bankrupt. [Consequently-Hence-Thus] we came to realize that we were in need to have..."

To me I prefer to use Hence but not sure, what do you say?
  • boyblue1

    New Member
    They can all be used. And also "therefore".

    Though there are some sayings that are just more common with one of the words, like "Hence, the coat". Where "coat" can be anything, but I gave it as an example.

    Consequently can be more suited to telling someone an action that is about to be carried out that is not pleasing (consequences are often thought of as bad). Ex. "Consequently, you will be fired". It's not incorrect to use the other words, but it might come off as trite.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    UK English
    There are no "exact differences" since people use them in different ways and they are fairly similar. For example, I don't feel like the previous contributor that consequently has anything to do with something bad. If I look up consequently in Collins English Dictionary, I find as a result; therefore; hence.

    I would define the basic meanings as follows:

    Consequently = as a result
    Hence = therefore, for this reason
    Thus = in this way (also therefore)

    I feel that hence and thus are not used very often in speech. Rather than thus people would say so.
    Example: He had toothache last weekend so he had to take painkillers.
    I would accept so/consequently/hence here, but not thus.

    The problem is if you ask native speakers to give examples, you will often get different usages.

    Yaakov Bleier

    New Member
    Consequently implies a result necessarily ensuing from a prior separate cause. For example, "it is raining, consequently plants are growing."

    Therefore implies a result incidentally connected with some other thing. For example, "it is raining, therefore we stayed indoors."

    Thus implies an exposition of what is contained implicitly in a prior premise. For example, "it is raining, thus it is wet."

    Hence means "from here" and stands in contrast with thence which means "from there". Since it is common to say "hence it follows that...." it has become customary to say hence when what is really meant is hence (from here) it follows. This idiom and its less popular sibling, thence, can be used in place of consequently, therefore, or thus; hence is used to stress the effect of some cause, and thence is used to stress the cause of some effect.

    Yaakov Bleier

    New Member
    Hello Yaakov, welcome to the forum. Are you aware that you are replying to a question dating back to January 2010?
    Of course. But this same question caught my interest today so I could only imagine it will catch someone else's interest in the future. Googling this query brings up this webpage as one of the first results, and it will presumably remain that way for many more years. Chances are somebody will appreciate my hairsplitting elucidation someday!
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