Then vs. Than


Puzzling, this one. See, then and than are used in very different situations, so it’s surprising to see how misused the two terms are.

Then is supposed to be used when saying things in chronological order, or using events based on time. For example, “First, I went into the bathroom to wash up. Then, I fell through to the first floor due to the gaping hole in the linoleum.” Having Trouble?: If you are unsure if you need to use “then”, just think of the word “when”. If time or a sequence of events is your context, use then.

Than
is to be used when comparing things. For example, “I did a much better job of breaking my legs than my brother.” Having Trouble?: Use “than” in situations where you’re relating objects or things, or when time is not involved.

Be advised that both words can occasionally be found in the same sentence, like so: “It was then that I discovered I was much squishier than him.”

I’m Grammar Nazi Policeman Rydash, saying thanks for putting up with yet another language post.

Let The Incorrect Use Of Then and Than Die

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Photo Credits: The Oatmeal (Go check it out. It’s a great site. Really.)

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3 responses to “Then vs. Than

  1. The Oatmeal is really actually funny, and also touches on other grammatical mistakes that really urk me.

  2. Did you do one about “Affect and Effect” yet?

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