Forth vs Fourth

Team English -
Created by: Team English -, Last Updated: April 27, 2024

Forth vs Fourth

These two words sound alike, but their meanings are quite different. Mixing them up can lead to confusion and alter the message you’re trying to convey. Let’s clear up the confusion once and for all. “Forth” is an adverb indicating forward movement or emergence, like when a judge calls forth a prisoner. On the other hand, “fourth” is an adjective denoting the ordinal number for four, as in the fourth person in a lineup. So, whether you’re moving forward or counting in order, understanding the distinction between “forth” and “fourth” is key to clear communication.

Forth and Fourth – Meanings

  • Forth” serves as an adverb, indicating movement or direction onward or forward. It denotes progress, advancement, or continuation in various contexts, both literal and figurative.
  •  “Fourth” functions as an ordinal numeral and adjective, representing the position in a sequence that follows third and precedes fifth. It categorizes items, individuals, or events within a numerical order.


Forth” is an adverb meaning “forward” or “onward in time or place.” It implies movement or progression in a specific direction. On the other hand, “fourth” is an adjective or noun that signifies the ordinal number following the third. It’s used to denote position or order in a sequence. Remember, “forth” is about moving forward, while “fourth” refers to the position in a series.

How to Pronounce Forth and Fourth

  • Forth: Pronounced as /fɔːθ/ (phonetically, “forth” rhymes with “north”). The “th” sound is produced by putting the tip of the tongue between the teeth.
  • Fourth: Pronounced as /fɔːθ/ (phonetically, “fourth” sounds like “forth” with a “th” at the end). It also rhymes with “north”.

The Difference Between Forth vs Fourth

Feature Forth Fourth
Context Often used in a more abstract, motivational, or directional sense Primarily used in numerical contexts to indicate position or sequence
Relation to Movement Implies a direction or action moving forward Does not imply movement; relates to position
Association Associated with action and progress Associated with ranking or ordering
Use in Phrases Common in expressions urging action (e.g., “go forth”) Found in ordinal contexts (e.g., “fourth place”)
Emphasis in Speech Emphasized in motivational or directive statements Emphasized when discussing order or sequence
Conceptual Focus Focuses on the act of proceeding or advancing Focuses on the idea of sequence or ranking

How to Remember the Difference

To remember the difference between “forth” and “fourth,” think of the “u” in “fourth” as standing for “under” in the sense of order or ranking (under third but above fifth in sequence).”Forth” lacks a “u,” which can remind you it’s all about direction (forward) and not about a position in a sequence.

How to Use Forth and Fourth

Forth and Fourth usage

Forth Usage

  • In Movement and Progression: “Forth” is often used to indicate movement or progression forward.
  • In Expressions and Idioms: “Forth” is commonly found in various expressions and idioms, often conveying a sense of action or initiative.
  • In Narratives and Descriptions: Writers use “forth” to evoke a sense of motion or development in narratives or descriptions.
  • In Legal and Formal Documents: “Forth” can also appear in legal or formal documents, often indicating the release or provision of something.
  • In Poetry and Literature: Poets and authors frequently use “forth” in their works to convey themes of movement, growth, or revelation.

Fourth Usage

  • Ordinal Position: “Fourth” is primarily used to denote the ordinal number following the third in a sequence.
  • Sequence and Order: “Fourth” is used to specify the position or order of something within a series or sequence.
  • Numerical Descriptions: “Fourth” is commonly used in numerical descriptions to provide clarity and specificity.
  • Time and Dates: “Fourth” can be used to refer to specific points in time or dates, especially in chronological contexts.
  • Fractional Representation: In some cases, “fourth” can be used to represent fractions, particularly when dividing something into four equal parts.

Forth and Fourth – Examples

Forth and Fourth Examples

Forth Examples

  1. She strides forth purposefully, eager to explore the unknown.
  2. The river flows forth steadily, carving its path through the rugged terrain.
  3. Go forth and seize the opportunities that lie ahead.
  4. The knight charged forth bravely into the heart of the battle.
  5. With determination, he presses forth through the obstacles in his path.

Fourth Examples

  1. Today marks the fourth anniversary of our partnership.
  2. She finished fourth in the race, just behind the leading pack.
  3. The fourth chapter of the book introduces a pivotal plot twist.
  4. He celebrated his fourth birthday with a party filled with laughter and joy.
  5. We’re scheduled to meet on the fourth floor of the building for the presentation.


Word Synonyms
Forth Forward, Onward, Ahead, Forwardly
Fourth Next, Following, Subsequent, After


  1. She stepped _________ confidently onto the stage.
  2. Please bring the documents _________.
  3. The team finished in _________ place in the competition.
  4. The train departed promptly at one _________.
  5. He was born on the _________ of July.
  6. Go _________ and explore the possibilities.


  1. forth
  2. forth
  3. fourth
  4. forth
  5. fourth
  6. forth


Is it fourth or forth?

“Fourth” is correct when referring to numerical order. “Forth” means onward movement. Use “fourth” for position, “forth” for direction.

Is it Fourth or Forth of July?

The correct term is “Fourth of July.” It signifies Independence Day in the United States, celebrated on July 4th annually.

How do you spell 4th place?

“4th place” is the correct spelling for the position in a competition or race, denoting fourth place.

How do you spell 4th?

“4th” is the abbreviated form of “fourth,” correctly used when referring to the numerical position in a sequence or list.

Is 4th grammatically correct?

Yes, “4th” is grammatically correct when used to denote the fourth position in a sequence, as an abbreviation of “fourth.”

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