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    #1

    so/therefore

    Hi,

    The shop is closed so I can't buy any bread.
    The shop is closed therefore I can't buy any bread.

    Any difference between ''so'' and ''therefore''?

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: so/therefore

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Hi,

    The shop is closed, so I can't buy any bread.
    The shop is closed; therefore, I can't buy any bread.

    Any difference between ''so'' and ''therefore''?
    "Therefore" cannot be used as coordinating conjunction.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #3

    Re: so/therefore

    I read on a website that ''so' is informal while ''therefore'' is formal.

    The shop is closed; therefore, I can't buy any bread.

    Is the comma optional after ''therefore''?
    If I don't want use the semicolon then I have to use ''and'' before ''therefore'' as in:

    The shop is closed and therefore I can't buy any bread.

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: so/therefore

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    I read on a website that ''so' is informal while ''therefore'' is formal. I don't find them different in "register" but using "therefore" tends to be used with more significant matters. Like "Your sister has a lot of homework, so you'll have to do the dinner dishes on your own tonight" would sound a little silly with the "therefore" construction. Doing the dishes is not that important a matter. Other people may have other feelings about this.

    The shop is closed; therefore, I can't buy any bread.
    Is the comma optional after ''therefore''? I don't consider it optional, but I use more commas than is currently fashionable.

    If I don't want use the semicolon then I have to use ''and'' before ''therefore'' as in:

    The shop is closed and therefore I can't buy any bread. I find this unnatural but not ungrammatical. You could use a period and make two sentences.
    Other people may feel differently than I do.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #5

    Re: so/therefore

    Can I also say as in:

    The shop is closed. Therefore, I can't buy any bread.

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    #6

    Re: so/therefore

    You can say that if you wish. In real life, native speakers wouldn't.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: so/therefore

    Quote Originally Posted by Untaught88 View Post
    Can I also say as in:

    The shop is closed. Therefore, I can't buy any bread.
    When I wrote "You could use a period and make two sentences," that is what I meant.
    Like doing the dishes, it seems too trivial a matter to use "therefore."

    Yeah, I couldn't get bread - when I got to the shop, it had already closed. I'll get some tomorrow.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: so/therefore

    The arrangement is rather formal. I would just say "I couldn't get any bread because the shop was shut".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #9

    Re: so/therefore

    Of course there are differences between the two words (as Barb-D has clearly pointed out) but they share the same basic meaning in both sentences of 'the result is that'.

    Normally, therefore is used to show that a result has been derived logically, so it would be a little out of place in this case. For this reason, I'd say that it is more common in academic English, especially science, mathematics and philosophy (but not really more 'formal'). Consider:

    I think; therefore I am.

    All men are mortal. Socrates is a man. Therefore, Socrates is mortal.


    So if "The shop is closed. Therefore, I can't buy any bread." sounds awkward, it's because, like me, you don't recognise a logical connection between the two clauses -- the result is merely circumstantial.

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    #10

    Re: so/therefore

    Of COURSE there is a logical connection.
    I wanted to buy bread at that shop. When I got there, the shop was closed. Therefore, I could not buy bread.

    Circumstantial would be that the store next door was closed too, or you noticed that the flowers in the shop's window box were starting to bloom.

    I suggest it's a matter of "gravitas" that makes "therefore" an unlikely choice for a native speaker. It's not at all of matter of a missing logical connection.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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