Grammar can get confusing most of the time. Especially because they might sound the same and might have the same choices in vowels and consonants. But this is why we are here for. Than and Then. When to Choose Which One and Why?
Two terms share similar features, which may be difficult to distinguish from each other. How could you distinguish them? Even identical twins have unique characteristics in physical appearance and personality. A lot of people make errors with than vs then, but you can avoid being one of them. 501 Words will teach you a strategy to get to know them.
How To Avoid The Than Vs Then Error
The words “than” and “then” are two of the most commonly confused words in the English language. They both sound the same when spoken and they even look similar when written. Despite their similarities, they are two very different words with very different meanings. That’s why it’s so important to understand the difference between than and then so you can avoid making an embarrassing grammatical error.
The first step in avoiding the than vs then error is to learn the definitions of each word. “Than” is used to compare two things. It can be used to compare one thing to another, or to compare a situation to another. For example, “I am taller than my brother,” or “It is hotter today than yesterday.” “Then” is used to refer to a time that has already passed or to a logical consequence. For example, “We went to the store and then to the park,” or “If you don’t do your homework, then you won’t get a good grade.”
Once you understand the definitions of each word, you can start to pay attention to the context clues to determine which one is correct. If you’re comparing two things, then you should use “than.” For example, “This book is more interesting than that one.” If you’re talking about something that already happened or something that logically follows, then you should use “then.” For example, “I ate lunch and then I went for a walk.”
Another helpful tip is to remember that “than” is usually used in comparative sentences, while “then” is usually used in sequential sentences. For example, “My brother is taller than me” is a comparative sentence, so you should use “than.” On the other hand, “I ate lunch and then I went for a walk” is a sequential sentence, so you should use “then.”
If you’re still having trouble deciding between “than” and “then,” try substituting the other word and see if it still makes sense. If it does, then you know you’ve made the wrong choice. For example, if you’re trying to decide between “He is taller than me” and “He is taller then me,” then you can try switching them out and see if it still makes sense. In this case, “He is taller then me” doesn’t make sense, so you know you should use “than.”
Finally, if you’re still having trouble, you can consult a grammar book or an online source to double-check. This is a great way to make sure you’re using the right word before you submit an important document or make a mistake in public.
By understanding the definitions of “than” and “then,” paying attention to context clues, and using substitution and reference materials, you can avoid the than vs then error. It may take some practice, but with a little bit of effort, you can make sure you’re using the right word every time.
The Use of Than vs Then
Like toward vs towards or to vs too, we must know how to use than vs then to prevent any grammar lapses or just making a fool of ourselves. Here are some important things to note.
How to use Than
A conjunction is a word that connects two clauses or coordinates words in the same clause. Than is a conjunction used to introduce the second part of an unequal comparison. It also introduces the rejected choice in expressions of preference. Finally, “than” may mean “except” or “when.” For example, Mark jumps higher than Michael.
Also, than can function as a preposition. A preposition links a noun or pronoun to a verb or adjective in a sentence to show a spatial or temporal relationship. Than also means “in relation to” or “by comparison with.”
Than is used in a lot of idioms such as “more fun than a barrel of monkeys” or “more dead than alive.” However, there are many others that may be new to you like “more sinned against than sinning”? Wouldn’t it be a fun project to find out how these colorful expressions started?
When to Use Then
Then often functions as an adverb that modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs. It also has lots of meanings: at that time, at the same time, next in order of place or time, soon afterward, as a consequence, or in addition.
Ethan stands next to Eric, then my roommate Claire, then me. Claire told me that since we made great progress in school, then we should celebrate. However, we have no money then.
Then is also used as an adjective or a noun. As an adjective, it means “being such, existing, or being at the time indicated” while it means “that time” as a noun. “My then-roommate Claire moved out and I have not seen her since then.”
Then also appears in some idioms. First, it means “on the other hand.” for instance, “Marcus is quite grumpy, but then he made me smile today.” It also means “at that exact time and place, or at once.” “I stopped right then and there, so I would not get in trouble.”
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Than can be used to introduce the second part of an unequal comparison or the rejected choice in expressions of preference. Finally, than can mean “except” or “when.”
Then functions as an adverb that modifies verbs and means at that time, at the same time, next in order of place or time, soon afterward, as a consequence, or in addition. Then means “being such, existing, or being at the time indicated” as adjective while it means “that time” as a noun.
Then functions as an adverb that modifies verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs, which means at that time, at the same time, next in order of place or time, soon afterward, as a consequence, or in addition. It is also used as an adjective or a noun, which means “being such, existing, or being at the time indicated” while it means “that time” as a noun.
Than is a conjunction used to introduce the second part of an unequal comparison as well as the rejected choice in expressions of preference. Than can also mean “except” or “when.”
Then usually has a relationship with time, typically acting as an adverb, modifying other adverbs as well as adjectives and, of course, verbs. This gets especially confusing for non-native speakers or non-English speakers which makes sense. Sometimes, than can appear in comparisons about time.
It’s therefore important to understand the difference between than and then.
There are plenty of examples that can define a perfect sense or grammatical sense for this comparison, if you know some, connect with us in the comment section below. You can also ask us about adverb definitions, adverb in sentences, types of speech, nuanced differences, preposition in comparisons, prepositional phrase, conjunction versus preposition usage, or other queries.