Then vs. Than

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Difference between Then and Than

Just like affect and effect, then and than are two words that seem the same but are totally different. They have two different meanings, are spelt differently and both are used daily. The main problem in their mistaken usage is that people don’t take the time to learn the difference or simply just don’t care. “Then and than” are both very different because one will actually compare something while the other deals with time or meaning after something or after a situation. It’s very important to get to know these two words and their meaning, so pay close attention.

Then
Than

Difference

The difference between “then” and “than” is what they mean, obviously. The word “then” is used basically as a reference to time or the past. The word “than” on the other hand is used to compare things or situations. Aside from the definition they both have different spellings. The last difference is the way they both sound as well their part of speech. The two are very simple to remember if you take the time to try and understand them.

Ways to Remember

For many people it is hard to remember the difference between then and than. For some people they can learn it and never forget, for others we need a way to remember. One way that some people remember then and than is;

thEn = timE

thAn = compAre.

Although that may seem a bit silly, it does help a lot of people remember the difference. Try repeating it to yourself a few times or writing it down to remember it. You can also change the word in the sentence to see if it makes sense. If you are going to use “then,” change it to “next” and see if it still makes sense. If you are intending on using the word “than,” change it to “in comparison” and see if that makes sense. If it does, then you are using the word correctly.

Examples

Here we’re going to discuss some example sentences that will help you figure out the difference between “then” and” than.”

Then

I took all of my exams in the morning, and then went to the park for some relaxation time.

I walked over to the library, and then got some ice cream after with my mom.

Than

She is shorter than my brother Sal.

In today’s world children seem to read less than children did twenty years ago.

Summary

  • When talking about time in a sentence the proper word to use is then.
  • When comparing something in a sentence, the proper word to use is than.
  • Then is an adverb and than is a conjunction.
  • To remember thEn think of timE.
  • To remember thAn think of compAre.
  • You can always change then or than in a sentence with in comparison or next to see if it still makes sense. If it doesn't try the other word and there’s your answer. 

Which word is misused most often?
  • Then
  • Than
 
 

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