I came across these two expressions, that were indicating what was going to follow after a paragraph:

Then, it follows


Then, there follows

I was told, in an academic context, that the second formulation is more appropriate/correct than the first one.

What are the main differences and their actual usage?

  • 1
    Neither of those expressions indicates "as far as I understood," for one, because both are in the present tense, not that past tense. If you're referring to a scenario like someone saying, "John left late," and someone else responding, "Then it follows he'll arrive late," there is no context, academic or otherwise, in which "there follows" is used instead. It's not really clear what you mean as you haven't provided enough explanation or any research, which is why I'm not posting this as an answer. Once you've made it clear what you mean, I may answer this if it's what you mean. Jul 4, 2021 at 20:02
  • 2
    You need to provide a full sentence. Both your phrases are correct, but each one should be followed by different structures to be acceptable.
    – fev
    Jul 4, 2021 at 20:57

1 Answer 1


Normally, with it (this is a dummy it), your expression should be followed by the conjunction that.

It means:

to happen as a result, or to be a likely result:

  • [ + that ] Just because I agreed last time, it doesn't necessarily follow that I will again. (Cambridge)

With there, it is an idiom which means:

then comes : then there is

  • The war ended. There followed a long period of rebuilding. (M-W)


there follows something: There followed seven months of hard negotiations. (macmillan)

The phrase there follows is often followed by a noun phrase, but it can also be followed by a that clause, and this use is more academic:

There follows that MoT = To (T- o MoT). There also follows that (MoT)o (MoT) o (MoT) = Moi...o M-2M or = Mo T. (source)

The conclusion is that both it and there are dummy subjects, but the main difference is

  1. It follows MUST be followed by that, whereas there follows can be followed by that or by a noun phrase.
  2. It follows that is not necessarily formal, and it is not restricted to academic writing. Especially in the negative or in questions, it is very common in colloquial contexts, too. There follows that is much more formal and is most likely to be found in an academic environment, particularly in the field of mathematics.
  • thank you! The usage of "there follows that", similar to the example from the MacMillan, is exactly what I was looking for.
    – Gabrer
    Sep 8, 2021 at 11:41

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