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General Writing and Grammar Help/use of "therefore" as plain adverb

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Question
Dear Ted,

Can you please tell me if the adverb “therefore” when not used as a conjunction,  is always a parenthetical expression.

In other words, can “therefore” be used as a plain adverb that is not a parenthetical expression?

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Rich

Answer
Dear Rich:

Can you please tell me if the adverb “therefore” when not used as a conjunction,  
is always a parenthetical expression.

In other words, can “therefore” be used as a plain adverb that is not a
parenthetical expression?

*** Many grammarians would CRINGE at the idea of calling a plain adverb, such as "therefore," a "parenthetical expression."

You have the right idea, though.  You can THINK of therefore as parenthetical, but don't CALL it that.  

This site -- http://www.grammarbook.com -- calls these adverbs "interrupters."  


Rule 20

Use commas surrounding words such as therefore and however when they are used as interrupters.

Examples:
I would, therefore, like a response.
I would be happy, however, to volunteer for the Red Cross.

I've never heard "interrupters" used before, but the description is correct.  Words like "therefore" do interrupt the flow of the sentence.  They are like very brief pauses.

So, the author of this site would use the word "interrupter" to name non-conjunctive uses of words like "therefore" and "however" and "thus" and "hence"   And on and on.  I would call these words "adverbs" that are used to interrupt the flow of the sentence.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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