Than or Then?
Than or Then?What is the difference between "than" and "then"?
- "Than" is used to introduce a comparison. For example:
- She was smarter than you. ("Than" is used with a comparison.)
- "Then" relates to time or means "in that case." For example:
- I was fitter then. (Here, "then" relates to a past time.)
- Run to the lake then jump in. (Here, "then" relates to a future time.)
- If you're not happy, then leave. (Here, "then" means "in that case.")
More about "Than" and "Then"The words "then" and "than" look similar, but their uses are very different.
ThanThe word "than" introduces a comparison. It is most often seen with comparatives and words like "more," "less," and "fewer."
- Craig is smarter than Paul. ("Smarter" is a comparative.)
- Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons. (Actor Woody Allen) ("Better" is a comparative.)
- Russia is even more spacious than Canada. ("More spacious" is a comparative.)
- I have less space than you, but I also have fewer workers than you.
ThenThe word "then" usually relates to time. It is most commonly used as an adverb. It has the following meanings:
Subsequently or afterwards
- Go to the traffic lights, then turn right.
- It went dark, then there was a scream.
- The council members argued for three days then eventually came to a decision.
- If you had cleaned your teeth properly, then you wouldn't be in this predicament.
- You're certain then?
- If that's how you feel, let it go then.
- I was much fitter back then.
- She used to holiday in Sri Lanka as it was then known.
- The schedule will be completed before then.
- It was the responsibility of the then team captain to account for the trophies in the cabinet. (In this example, "then" is an adjective.)