The Grammar GuideSpellingWhat is the difference between 'forth' and 'fourth'?

What is the difference between 'forth' and 'fourth'?

What is the difference between 'forth' and 'fourth'?

The words forth and fourth are often confused because they have the same pronunciation but different meanings. But what is the difference?

Forth means forward in time, place or degree when used as an adverb.

Fourth means the ordinal form of the number four when used as an adjective.

A good way to remember the difference is FORth moves FORward.

Out of the two words, 'forth' is the most common.



Fourth and forth are homophones, which means they sound the same but are spelled differently. This makes it easy to confuse these words.

Fourth is an adjective. It is the ordinal form of the number four and goes between third and fifth.

Forth is an adverb. It means "onward in time or space, way, forward."

What's the right phrase ', and so forth' or ', and so fourth'?

You should use ', and so forth'. These phrases are often confused because they have the same pronunciation but different meanings.

Should it be 'and so forth .' or 'and so fourth .'?

The correct phrase is 'and so forth .'. These phrases are often confused because they are homophones.

Is the correct expression 'back and forth between' or 'back and fourth between'?

The right expression is 'back and forth between'. These phrases are often confused because of their similar sound.

Should it be 'set forth in the' or 'set fourth in the'?

The right expression is 'set forth in the'. These phrases are often confused because they sound the same.

Which is correct 'and so forth ,' or 'and so fourth ,'?

The correct expression is 'and so forth ,'. These phrases are often confused because they are homophones.

Is the right expression 'the third and fourth' or 'the third and forth'?

The correct expression is 'the third and fourth'. These phrases are often confused because of their similar sound.

Is the right expression 'of the fourth century' or 'of the forth century'?

The correct phrase is 'of the fourth century'. These phrases are often confused because of their similar sound.

Is the expression 'the fourth and fifth' or 'the forth and fifth'?

The right phrase is 'the fourth and fifth'. These phrases are often confused because they sound similar.

Is the right expression 'the fourth century ,' or 'the forth century ,'?

You should use 'the fourth century ,'. These phrases are often confused because they sound similar.

Which is correct 'in the fourth century' or 'in the forth century'?

The right expression is 'in the fourth century'. These phrases are often confused because they sound similar.

Some synonyms of forth are: away, forward, off, onward.

Some synonyms of fourth are: four, quarter, quadrant.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Dictionary Definition of forthDictionary Definition of fourth

Examples of forth in a sentence

Joe's glance shifted back and forth between Jesse and the figures.
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen
Ce'Nedra continued to watch as he lazily swam back and forth in the moon-dappled water.
- Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings
The horses went crazy, running back and forth as the geysers sprayed them from all directions.
- The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan
He swung it back and forth as if to sweep the corridor clean.
- The Paris Option by Robert Ludlum
Lyle fingered the end of one of his dreadlocks, twisting it back and forth.
- The Haunted Air by F. Paul Wilson

Examples of fourth in a sentence

The Fourth Reich has about another half a ton, exclusive of deployed weapons."
- Final Assault by Stephen Ames Berry
A remote one, since the idiot was waving the gun like a flag on the Fourth of July.
- The heart of Devin MacKade by Nora Roberts
They curved like the steps into an old basement, only they led to the fourth floor.
- Breakfast in Bed by Robin Kaye
The door buzzed open and Joe climbed the stairs to the fourth floor.
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen
In the fourth section of “Snapshots of a Daughter-in-Law,” she portrays her
- The collected poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson; Rachel Wetzsteon
Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.

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