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Difference between 'Then' and 'Than'

Did you find the words "then" and "than" confusing in the sentences? Do you ever get lost about which to use? Don't worry! Today, we'll clear up your misunderstanding by explaining the definitions and applications for both "then and than" using samples.

Then vs Than

1) Then

Then as an adverb:

The word "then" is used in cases where time is quoted, such as "She went walking then." The word "then" may also refer to a later point in time such as "Sara won the very first award then in the second season." It is also used in 'as a result' phrases like "If that's what you want, then I'm sorry, but I can't help you" are also used. Furthermore, it emphasizes the interference drawn when used at the end of a word, as in "So you brought it then." It is also often used to end a sentence, as in "See you tomorrow then."

Besides this, the word 'then' may be used to indicate a variety of partnerships, which are as follow;

Time Relationships

  • To suggest what would occur next, for example, "I am going to get a shave first, then a manicure."
  • To denote a sequence's location or order such as "Love comes first, then followed by marriage."
  • To indicate furthermore such as "And then there's the rent to consider."

Logical Connections

  • As a result, consequently (often paired with "if").
    • "If you work hard in secondary education, then you have a fair chance of getting into a great university."
  • It is the case.
    • "Then take my money if that's what you want."
  • Also used to validate or complement a previous sentence after "but."
    • "He was a celebrity, but then he was still a hard worker."

2) Than

The word 'than' is used as both a conjunction and as a preposition.

Then vs Than
  • The letter Than may be used as a conjunction or a preposition in statements when preceded by an a;
  • "He's a lot cooler than his pal."
  • In expression, than is used to provide a distinction or exception to the usual artifacts.
  • "Than" is often used in phrases implying that one event occurred directly after another.

Some examples of 'than':

  • Are you a better rider than I am?

You must've been constant on the meanings of both terms, but you should also be concerned about mistaking one for the other in prose. To help you differentiate between the two terms, keep in mind that unlike with any other words, neither one of them have a one-word descriptor that is substituted. Replace than with anything else in the following sentence;

'She has a stronger position than I do'.

Could you find a better term to replace in the above instance in your memory palace? It's not your mind villa's fault; there isn't any word that does the same thing as that. On the other side, then has several one-word synonyms that can replace them in a phrase.

Let us see one more sentence given below;

'I'm not sure what happened then'.

Were you capable of coming up with a fitting replacement for them in the case above? You were, I'm optimistic. It's possible to write it as: I'm not sure what happened next. So, there are words like these that can replace it. Re-examine the after scenario in the above sentence such as; 'I'm not sure what happened after that.

Than as a conjunction is frequently used in contrasts of two objects, such as A dwarf is shorter than a giant.

When used in if-then sentences, the only exception to this language term difference is when used with an e (then). In that case, you only have to focus your mind a little bit and note that only an e is usually used in an if-then sentence.

Special Instructions for Usage

Then vs Than

If there weren't some modifications or adjustments to the rules, English wouldn't be a beautiful and confusing language.

Use of Than Use of Then
The word "than" can be seen in the idiomatic expression "No sooner... than," which denotes two events occurring at the same period.
"As soon as the doctor walked into the office than my heart started racing."
The above statement can be rewritten as follows: "My heart started to pound as soon as the doctor entered the hospital."
Then is usually an adverb, but it may also be a noun or an adjective.
'At the time' is the most general meaning for then. Such as;
I'm no longer a dancer, but I used to be one. I used to dance all the time back then!
Acts louder than words: Taking action demonstrates more extraordinary dedication than just saying it.
  • You keep promising that you'll work even harder, but you never follow through. Actions are more potent than sentences!
Before yet, on the other hand, to the contrary, such as;
  • Thank you, just no. I'm not in the mood for ice cream. Then, on the other hand, I just finished my diet the day before yesterday. I suppose I'll eat frozen yogurt.
It's better to be late now than: It's preferable to do anything late than never to do anything at all.
  • I apologize for the delay in sending you this thank-you card, but, better late than never, I guess.
Right then and there: at the precise moment and location
  • They couldn't imagine then that in the middle of surgery, the doctor began humming!
It's best to be safe than apologizing:
  • It is preferable to be healthy than to take a chance and have a terrible accident.
And then some: then some!
  • She included the quantity specified in the formula, plus then some!
Most doctors prescribe that everybody have an annual checkup to ensure that they are in good condition. Nothing is going to go wrong, so it's better to be careful than sorry. Now and then: sporadically or irregularly
  • The professor does sometimes go to the bar for a beer, but not too often.
More than matches the eye: someone or something has greater significance or scope than meets the eye.
  • It would help if you gave dating him a shot. I know he seems dull at first, but he's very charming and fascinating. He's a lot more of it than meets the eye.
Before then, we'll say our goodbyes until we talk again.
  • Ok, I'll see you on Saturday at the club. Before then, take care!
No faster than it is done: the action will occur as soon as the action is stated.
  • Only let me know if you want me to get you a cake for the birthday. It's better to say it than to do it.
The word then is more general, which is used in structured and unstructured speech.

However, the words than and then are pronounced and spelled nearly similar. Also, these terms have few similarities and are separate parts of speech.

Let us understand the characteristics of these two terms further so that we don't mix them up.

When to Use Then in a Sentence:

Then vs Than

It can be used as an adverb, adjective, or noun. It may imply at that moment, next, or subsequently as an adverb. It can be used as a word to characterize someone or something as being a certain way for a long time but not now. It may be used as a verb to refer to a specific period.

He played hockey before showering (Adverb meaning). If you do not read, you can fail the exam. A then extorted a substantial sum of money (Adverb meaning).

Using the Word "Than" in a Sentence:

A conjunction is when two or more words are used together. It occurs with comparable adjectives such as best, bad, and quicker, among others. It can also occur in sentences where there is only one choice.

Furthermore, it is possible to express a choice between two objects.

  • She doesn't bother to learn, and yet she is more intelligent than I am. (First definition).
  • I tried to arrive early, but my car broke down, leaving me with no choice than to walk. (Second definition).
  • I prefer more weight train than a racing exercise. (For the third time)

The pronunciation of then and than will help you recall which word by acting as a substitution cipher. Then, like the terms, time and moment are written with an e and no a. This reality will assist you in remembering that the term then applies typically to a specific period.

Is it better to say "then" or "than"?

These two words have a familiar tone. Their meanings, on the other hand, do not overlap.

Then usually is an adverb, but it may also be a noun or an adjective. It refers to a certain point in time. Whereas, the conjunction than is used to attach two nouns that are being contrasted with an adjective. So, despite their identical pronunciation, these terms can't be interchanged.

Then vs Than
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