Distinguishing Hereafter from Henceforth

Key Difference – Hereafter vs Henceforth

Hereafter and Henceforth are two adverbs that have similar meanings. Both adverbs mean ‘from now on.’ The key difference between hereafter and henceforth lies in their usage; henceforth is older and more formal than hereafter. Henceforth is specially used in legal contexts whereas hereafter is sometimes used in everyday speech.

What Does Hereafter/Henceforth Mean?

As mentioned above, hereafter and henceforth have similar meanings; therefore they can be used as synonyms. They are similar to ‘from now on’, ‘from this time afterwards’, or ‘after this time’. These two adverbs are also not used in everyday speech. Henceforth can be mostly seen in formal contexts such as legal texts. Hereafter, however, is sometimes used in everyday speech. When compared with hereafter, henceforth is considered to be more formal. Henceforth also known has a longer history; its first know usage was in the fourteenth century.

Henceforth, you’ll be a knight of the realm.

Hereafter, he will be known as the king of the South. / Henceforth, he will be known as the king of the South.

She announced that hereafter she will be the teaching our class.

Henceforth, the tenant will be responsible for all damages to the house.

We received a formal warning that we were henceforth not allowed in that area.

Henceforth, the dowager queen was confined in the castle.

He promised to obey me in all matters hereafter.

Hereafter is sometimes also used as a noun. As a noun, hereafter refers to an existence beyond earthly life.

She hoped to be reunited with her deceased husband in the hereafter.

What is the difference between Hereafter and Henceforth?

Hereafter and Henceforth have the same meaning. However, there is a small difference in their usage and history.


Hereafter: Hereafter is less formal than henceforth

Henceforth: Henceforth is more formal than hereafter.


Hereafter: Hereafter is not as old as henceforth.

Henceforth: Henceforth has an older history.


Hereafter: Hereafter can also be used as a noun.

Henceforth: Henceforth is only used as an adverb.


Hereafter: Hereafter may be used in spoken language.

Henceforth: Henceforth is always used in formal contexts.

Image Courtesy:

“It is better to be frightened now than killed hereafter -Winston Churchill” by QuotesEverlasting (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

“Accolade by Edmund Blair Leighton” By Edmund Leighton – nevsepic.com.ua (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia

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Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard
Gil Tillard is an accomplished writer with expertise in creating engaging articles and content across various platforms. His dedication to research and crafting high-quality content has led to over 5 years of professional writing and editing experience. In his personal life, Gil enjoys connecting with people from diverse backgrounds and cultures. His curiosity and eagerness to learn from others fuel his passion for communication. He believes that engaging with strangers can be both enlightening and enjoyable, making it easier to strike up conversations and expand one's horizons.


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