Than vs. Then

Than is used to draw a comparison between two or more items, while then is used in relation to time and the order in which events occur. (For example: Julie had been taller than her little brother at the start of the year, but then Corey grew over the summer until he stood half an inch taller than his sister.)

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Meaning Used to draw a comparison between two or more items. Used in relation to time and the order in which events occur.
Used As A conjunction or a preposition. An adverb, adjective, or a noun.
Examples I ate more than he did. His smile was different than she remembered. She ended the call, then packed her bags. "Until then," she said.
Idioms Easier said than done, more than meets the eye, better safe than sorry. Now and then, then and there.
Etmology Developed from "then." No differentiation between the two in English until the 1700s. From Old English. Used as a noun starting in the 1300s. Used as a conjunction, adjective, and adverb starting in the 1500s. No longer used as a conjunction starting in the 1700s, when "than" developed.

Contents: Than vs Then

edit When to Use "Than"

Than is used as a conjunction or preposition to compare items and draw attention to differences. It is found in numerous idiomatic expressions (e.g., easier said than done, more than meets the eye, better safe than sorry).

edit "Than" Examples

Than is used after comparative adjectives and adverbs:

It can be used to show differences and choices. In these cases, it often follows words like anywhere, different, else, other, or otherwise.

Similar to the above, than can highlight rejected differences or exceptions. This usage can seem subtle, but the words sooner or rather will often feature in the sentence or could be imagined there.

edit When to Use "Then"

Then is an adverb that is used to communicate the time at which events occur. It can also communicate the order in which multiple events occur. One way to remember how to use then is to associate it with when.

Then can also be used as a noun or adjective, and is still in relation to time in these cases, but this usage is less common. As in the case of than, then is found in idioms (e.g., now and then, then and there), but far fewer.

edit "Then" Examples

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Comments: Than vs Then

Anonymous comments (5)

August 26, 2013, 12:14pm

must be a problem of the younger generation, anyone who learns it properly in school won´t have a problem with this. having english as a 2nd language also helps in the way that you would need to translate it 1st to get the right meaning in the current situation.

— 46.✗.✗.25

September 24, 2013, 9:02pm

I was afraid to go further then/than 10 miles from my house.

— 184.✗.✗.154

October 18, 2011, 3:15pm

Wow this very helpful can you help with difference of a lot and alot

— 98.✗.✗.58

July 20, 2012, 6:34pm

The EASIEST way to remember the difference is that 'then' rhymes with 'when', so you can refer it to the time sense.

— 64.✗.✗.222

July 28, 2012, 10:18pm

How about this: "If he forgave you then he is a bigger man than me."

— 67.✗.✗.142


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