Thus vs Hence? What’s the difference?

“Thus” and “hence” have essentially identical meanings, and are often used interchangeably— however, there are subtle differences in their usage regarding time. “Thus” is typically used when making reference to the past, whereas “hence” is generally used when referring to the future.

English grammar has a number of these tricky adverbs, hence it’s important to learn their proper usage. Let’s get into more detail on the differences between these adverbs.

When should I use “thus”?

“Thus” is usually used when referring to the past. It is used to facilitate the logical connection between two sentences or clauses.

When demonstrating a fact, or how something happened or will be happening in that moment, one can employ “thus” in their sentence.

Examples of usage:

Some examples of the proper use of this adverb include:

And thus, without further adieu, allow me to introduce our new CEO.
Melanie didn’t study for the test, thus resulting in her failing.
It’s getting late, and thus we must get the kids in bed.
My tutor described it thus…

When should I use “hence”?

“Hence” generally makes reference to something happening in the future, or that happened after the action mentioned preceding it. What follows “hence” is usually a consequence, or a reason for the event happening.

When one event leads to another, the resulting action can often be introduced with “hence” within the resulting sentence.

Examples of usage:

A few examples of the proper use of this adverb include:

He was about to be revealed as the new CEO—hence his anxiety.
Melanie decided she’d rather go to the mall than study for the test, hence her failing grade.
We noticed it was nearly 10 pm, hence our rush to put the kids to bed.
I told my tutor that I was worried I’d fail, hence our cracking down on studying for next week’s exam.

What part of speech are “thus” and “hence”?

Each of these words is known as conjunctive adverbs. They provide a smooth transition between sentences or clauses within a sentence.

What are some synonyms for “thus” and “hence”?

While these two terms are often used interchangeably, knowing each of their synonyms can help you to remember what the difference between the two adverbs is.

Synonyms of “thus”:

“in this way”
“in this manner”

Synonyms of “hence”:

“because of a preceding fact”
“from this place or time”