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Forth vs. Fourth

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  Marius Alza  —  Grammar Tips
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Forth vs. Fourth

Generally, words that sound identical and have very similar spellings create confusion among English speakers, who are not sure anymore about the meaning of each. This is exactly what happens with "forth" and "fourth" often, when people get confused about their meanings and, as a result, even use them wrongly.

Avoiding the misspelling of "forth" and "fourth" in any context is even more important as they have different significations and can completely change the sense and essence of your message. Let's clearly explain both words so that you won't confuse them again!

Forth vs. Fourth

No, none of these words is wrong or a misspelling. But what can actually happen is that you might use them wrongly in certain contexts. More accurately, both words refer to completely different things and this will make you use them wrongly if you replace them with one another only because they are spelled similarly.

When do we use "forth"?

"Forth" is defined as an adverb referring to a location out of or away from a certain place. It is used when referring to this type of positioning. Simultaneously, it can also refer to time, with the same meaning of "from now on".

Example 1: All soldiers went forth into the battleground. - referring to moving away from a location to another.

Example 2: From today forth, you have to change your diet completely. - "forth" is used with the sense of "from now on", in this context.

When do we use "fourth"?

"Fourth", on the other hand, has a completely different meaning than "forth". It is defined as the spelling for "4th", referring to the order of things. At the same time, in British English, "fourth" can also be used as a noun referring to quantity - it is the correspondent to the American "quarter".

Example 1: We will arrive home on the fourth of July. - "fourth" is simply the spelling for "4th".

Example 2: Add a fourth of a cup of sugar to the recipe in order to make the cake sweeter. - referring to one of four equal parts; "fourth" is the UK synonym for the US "quarter".


They might look almost the same, but their meanings are completely different and can change the final message of your phrases. Therefore, pay attention to never confuse "forth" for "fourth", because even though they are both correct, they refer to different things.

Forth vs. Fourth

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  • Joel Rodriguez
    Joel Rodriguez
    Very clear explanation. Tanks.
    LikeReply 13 years ago
    Clearly distinguished. Thanks for the information, really enjoyed.
    LikeReply 13 years ago


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