Forth or Fourth?

What Is the Difference between "Forth" and "Fourth"?

"Forth" and "fourth" are easy to confuse because they sound identical (i.e., they are perfect homonyms). The difference between "forth" and "fourth" is not related to US or UK spellings.
  • Forth. "Forth" means "forward" or "onward." For example:
    • Come forth. correct tick
    • From here on forth, I shall demand better service. correct tick
    • You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. (Author Khalil Gibran)
  • Fourth. "Fourth" relates to the number four (e.g., fourth place). For example:
    • Mine is the fourth house on the left. correct tick
    • Memory is the fourth dimension to any landscape. correct tick (Author Janet Fitch)
forth or fourth?

More about "Forth" and "Fourth"

"Fourth" and "forth" are different words. They are not different spellings under US and UK writing conventions.


The word forth" (without "u") is an adverb meaning "forward" or "onward" (e.g., from this day forth, bring forth, go forth).

Example sentences with "forth":
  • Put a cherry on top the first cake, then the second, and so forth. correct tick
  • (Here, "and so forth" means "and so forward," i.e., more of the same.)
  • I need to be present at the meeting to put my ideas forth. correct tick
  • (Here, "to put my ideas forth" means "to bring my ideas to the fore.")


The word "fourth" (with "u") relates to the number four. It can be a noun (e.g., one fourth, remove the fourth) or an adjective (e.g., the fourth car, the fourth person).

Four = Fourth

The word "fourth" (with "u") relates to the number four.

Forth = Forward

The word "forth" shares the same first three letters as "forward."

Forty Not Fourty

Somewhat oddly, the word "forty" (40), which obviously relates to the number four, is not spelled with a "u."
  • I can't believe I'm fourty! wrong cross
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.