forth and fourth - the difference

by Craig Shrives
The Quick Answer
Fourth relates to the number four (e.g., fourth place).
Forth usually means forward or onward.

Do not confuse forth and fourth, which sound identical.


The word forth (without u) is an adverb meaning forward or onward (e.g., from this day forth, bring forth, go forth).  It can also mean come out into view (e.g., Come forth from the crowd).

  • Put a cherry on top the first cake, then the second, and so forth.
  • (and so forth = more of the same)
  • I need to be present at the meeting to put my ideas forth.
  • (to make the ideas apparent, i.e., to bring them into view (figuratively))


The word fourth (with u) relates to the number four. It can be a noun (e.g., one fourth, i.e., a quarter), an adjective (e.g., the fourth car) or an adverb (e.g., the new driver came fourth).
Interactive Exercise
Here are three randomly selected questions from a larger exercise, which can be edited, printed to create an exercise worksheet, or sent via email to friends or students.

See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? tenant or tenet? who's or whose? What are adjectives? What are adverbs? What are nouns? List of easily confused words