Tag Archive - consequence vs. consequential

Understanding the Subsequent Consequences

Actions have consequences. How often have you heard that?

But is it of any consequence if you use consequently and consequential interchangeably?

Consequences are results. Your child disobeys, the consequences are some form of discipline. You text while driving, the consequences may well be a ticket or a traffic accident.

Consequently and consequential are closely related, but have subtle differences in meaning. Consequently is a conjunctive adverb; it connects two independent clauses. Use it when something occurs as a result of something.

  • My alarm didn’t go off; consequently, I was late for work.

Consequential means following as an indirect or secondary result, or following as a logical conclusion.

  • Long-term unemployment and depleted housing stock were some of the consequential (indirect/secondary) effects of Hurricane Katrina.

The more common use and meaning of consequential is importance or significance.

  • Marigold’s family was in a frenzy as they prepared to entertain their Dutch uncle—a consequential man in the Netherlands. (Or you might say “a man of some consequence.”)

It can also mean pompous, self-important. Continue Reading…