Than vs 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.

than vs then

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.” 

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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.”

If you want to know how ordinary readers can become extraordinary writers, you may want to read our articles about our Grammarly Review 2020 and ProWritingAid Review.

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FAQ’s

When to use than vs then?

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.

How do you use than vs. then?

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.”

Conclusion

Than vs Then have many similar characteristics and spelled almost the same, except for the third letter. However, they have different characteristics, meaning, and they function as different parts of speech.

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