These two words are easy to mix up and often used (incorrectly) to mean much the same thing. They are not, however, interchangeable and have two different meanings.
Sometimes, deciding which of these words is the correct one for your purpose requires careful consideration. Make sure that you use the right terms in your work by learning their definitions below.
Consequently (As a Result)
“Consequently” is an adverb meaning “as a result of.” It is used to describe an effect, outcome or result, like this:
Jonathan is away on holiday. Consequently, he will be unable to play in the soccer match this week.
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“Subsequently” is an adverb meaning “occurring later or after something else.” It is, therefore, used when describing a series of events wherein one thing followed another:
President Nixon was heavily criticized for his involvement in the Watergate scandal of 1972. He subsequently resigned from office in 1974.
However, while there is sometimes a connection between the two events describe (such as the Watergate scandal and Nixon’s resignation), this isn’t always the case. The important thing is simply that one event occurs after the other:
Boris was born in Minnesota, but he subsequently studied in schools across the U.S.A.
Here, for instance, there is no obvious causal connection, not even indirectly, between Boris being born in one place but later studying elsewhere. It’s simply that he was born before he went to school.
Consequently or Subsequently?
We use “consequently” when discussing the reason why something took place, while “subsequently” concerns the order in which events took place. A common mistake is using “subsequently” instead of “consequently” when no causation has been discussed.
Don’t forget to double check whether the word you pick is correct in the context of your writing and remember:
Consequently = As a result
Subsequently = Later/after