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Quick answer
"Esto" is a pronoun which is often translated as "this", and "por lo tanto" is a phrase which is often translated as "therefore". Learn more about the difference between "esto" and "por lo tanto" below.
A pronoun is a word that stands in for a noun (e.g. she).
1. (demonstrative)
a. this
Esto es lo que buscaba.This is what I was looking for.
An interjection is a short utterance that expresses emotion, hesitation, or protest (e.g. Wow!).
2. (sentence tag)
Regionalism used in Spain
a. well
Esto . . . ¿has conocido al novio de Alicia que viene esta noche? Well . . . have you met Alicia's boyfriend who is coming tonight?
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por lo tanto(
A phrase is a group of words commonly used together (e.g once upon a time).
1. (for that reason)
a. therefore
Has incurrido en una infracción, por lo tanto vas a la cárcel. You have broken the law; therefore, you are going to prison.
b. so
Te trato con respeto, por lo tanto espero que hagas lo mismo por mí.I treat you with respect, so I expect you to do the same for me.
c. thus (formal)
Firmó un contrato con nosotros, por lo tanto esperamos que cumpla con sus obligaciones.You signed a contract with us, thus we expect you to honor your obligations.
d. hence (formal)
Su rival político amenazó con ir a la prensa, por lo tanto se retiró de la carrera.His political rival threatened to go to the media, hence he withdrew from the race.
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