Hence, thence, and whence

This set of adverbs still has some literary use, though whence is now rare, having been replaced in modern English by ‘where from’. Hence is the most complex form, having meanings of place, time, and result (the latter common in modern formal English), and also entering into the occasional compound formation, such as hence-going [= departure] (Cym III.ii.64). Other constructions belonging to this set (e.g. whenceforth) were used in Early Modern English, but are not found in Shakespeare.
Item Location Example Gloss
hence AYL II.vii.3 he is but even now gone hence (away) from here, from this place
hence CE III.i.122 I’ll meet you at that place some hour hence from now, from this point in time
hence LC 110 controversy hence a question takes as a result, therefore
henceforth RJ III.v.241 Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain from this time forth; from now on
henceforward 2H6 IV.vii.16 henceforward all things shall be in common from now on
thence Tem I.ii.394 Thence I have followed it (away) from there, from that place
whence 1H6 I.iv.99 Whence cometh this alarum and the noise? from which / what place, from where [also: from what source / origin]
whencesoever R2 II.iii.22 It is my son ... / Sent from my brother Worcester whencesoever from whatever place, from somewhere or other

Several of these forms were sometimes used with a redundant preposition.

Item Location Example Gloss
hence, from R2 III.iii.6 Richard not far from hence hath hid his head  
henceforth, from 1H4 I.iii.5 I will from henceforth rather be myself  
thence, from CE IV.iv.147 Fetch our stuff from thence  
whence, from CE III.i.37 Let him walk from whence he came  
whence, of MM III.ii.206 Of whence are you?  



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