Then vs. Than | Meaning, Examples & Sentences
Then and than are two commonly confused words with different meanings and grammatical roles.
- Then (pronounced with a short “e” sound) refers to time. It’s typically an adverb, but it’s also used as a noun meaning “that time” and as an adjective referring to a previous status.
- Than (pronounced with a short “a” sound) is used to express comparison. Grammatically, it usually functions as a conjunction, but sometimes it’s a preposition.
|Examples: Then in a sentence||Examples: Than in a sentence|
|Follow the road for another mile, and then take the exit.||Brie is a better golfer than you.|
|I was working in a bookstore then.||I often like planning a holiday more than I like the holiday itself.|
Then to indicate time
Then can be used as an adverb to place events or things in order. It can be used to refer to both past and future points in time.
Then can be used as a noun to mean “that time.” Again, this can refer to the past or future.
Then can also be used as an adjective to refer to a previous status or to indicate that something belongs to a specific time.
Other uses of then
Then can also be used to express a condition or consequence, meaning the same as “in that case.” It is also used in combination with “if” to express a condition.
It can also be used in informal speech and writing to acknowledge that an agreement has been made (e.g., “all right then,” “okay then”).
Than for comparison
Than is a conjunction or preposition used to compare two or more things.
Other than or other then
More then or more than
More than is a common expression meaning “very” or “extremely.” It’s used to emphasize an attitude or emotion expressed by an adjective that comes after it.
Worksheet: Than vs. then
You can test your understanding of the difference between “then” and “than” with the worksheet below. Fill in either “then” or “than” in each sentence.
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Frequently asked questions about than vs then
- When do you use then vs than?
- Then (pronounced with a short “e” sound) refers to time. It’s often an adverb, but it can also be used as a noun meaning “that time” and as an adjective referring to a previous status.
- Than (pronounced with a short “a” sound) is used for comparisons. Grammatically, it usually functions as a conjunction, but sometimes it’s a preposition.
Examples: Then in a sentence Examples: Than in a sentence Mix the dry ingredients first, and then add the wet ingredients. Max is a better saxophonist than you. I was working as a teacher then. I usually like coaching a team more than I like playing soccer myself.
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