2

I think all the adverbs bellow mean the same and can be swapped in every context depending on whether the context is formal or informal; in the manner that in formal speech and in written English we can use:

Therefore → (More formal than so or rather a little bit fancier)

But one cannot use the following adverbs in colloquial English and if not, the sentence will sound odd or awkward to native hearer (I mean if someone uses one of the adverbs bellow in colloquial speech); so you can find them mostly in academic papers or in lectures given by e.g. professor and so on:

  • Consequently
  • Accordingly
  • As a result
  • Hence
  • Ergo

Although the following adverb means the same like the adverbs above, but it is far more formal in comparison with the above-mentioned adverbs:

  • (Very formal) → Thus

And the most common and informal equivalent for these all which easily can be found in everyday English is 'so'.

Do you agree with me?

  • 2
    It seems to me the precise relationships implied by consequently and accordingly aren't always equivalent. Consequently marks a strong causal, logical connection, whereas accordingly may simply mark simple accordance or congruity. "It was much too expensive. Consequently, I didn't buy it". I don't think you'd use accordingly there. – FumbleFingers Nov 8 '14 at 17:47
3

Here they are, ranked in most-formal to least-formal order (for US speakers):

FORMAL Ergo|Hence|Thus

SEMI-FORMAL Consequently|Accordingly

NORMAL BUSINESS As a result

CASUAL So

  • I agree with your ranking 100%. Specifically in regard to the OP's point about "thus," it is not in a formality class of its own. It's used more often than "hence" and far more often than "ergo" in my experience. I actually used "ergo" in my high school chemistry class and had to stop to define it for most of them. They had seen it written but never heard it spoken, and had the wrong pronunciation. "As a result" pops up in casual conversations between average people from time to time as well. – Jason Patterson Nov 8 '14 at 20:32
  • Thanks you TRomano. But what about 'therefore'? You didn't mention about it! :( – A-friend Nov 9 '14 at 6:09
  • I think 'therefore' has a similar condition like 'as a result' which holds the normal business equivalent of the others adverbs. They both seem to be a little less fancy than 'so' and mean the same and always can be swapped with each other. Do you confirm it? :) – A-friend Nov 9 '14 at 6:34

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