Main Difference – Hence vs Thus
Hence and thus are two conjunctive adverbs, and they are mostly used in written language to make smoother, the transition between ideas and sentences. Though these words are used interchangeably in most cases, there is a slight difference between hence and thus. The main difference between hence and thus is that hence is generally used to refer to the future while thus is often used to refer to the past.
When to Use Hence
Hence is a conjunctive adverb that facilitates a flawless transition between sentences. Hence is often used to refer to something in the future or conditional tenses. Hence often means as a consequence or for this reason. Since hence is a conjunctive adjective, it cannot join two independent clauses together. It can only help smooth transition between sentences. Therefore, it can be used preceded by a semicolon or period as shown in the following first two examples.
Renaldo defeated Roberto in the match; hence, he will be awarded the trophy.
This new method will reduce the carbon dioxide emission. Hence, air pollution will be controlled.
Many houses are built on lower grounds hence the reason water end up inside the house during the rainy season.
Yesterday was a holiday, hence the delay in responding.
You’ll notice that the structure of last two sentences is different from the first two. In the last two examples, hence substitutes a verb, expressing the meaning which leads to or and that is the reason of.
Hence also relates to from this/that. In old/archaic English, hence meant from here. For example,
Hence, be gone.
When to use Thus
Thus is a conjunctive adverb that is used to demonstrate a logical connection between the sentences. In this sense, it is synonymous to consequently or therefore. Thus is generally used to indicate the past or to indicate a conclusion to a past event. Thus cannot combine two main clauses in a sentence as it is a conjunctive adverb. Therefore, thus should be written in the following ways.
It started to rain; thus, he had to cancel his plans.
It started to rain. Thus, he had to cancel his plans.
It started to rain, and thus he had to cancel his plans.
Thus also describes the manner in which something happens. It relates to in this/that way or to this degree or extent, etc. For example, look at the following sentence.
Perseus defeated Severus, thus becoming the victor.
In this sentence, becoming the victor is only a phrase, not a clause. Therefore, a comma can be used before thus.
Difference Between Hence and Thus
Hence is mostly used with future or conditional tenses.
Thus is mostly used with past and present tenses.
Hence can mean from this place, from this time, because of a preceding fact or premise, or therefore.
Thus can mean in this or that manner or way, to this degree or extent, or consequently.
Hence sounds more formal and archaic than Thus.
Thus sounds more informal than hence.