Then Versus Than
When trying to decide whether to use “then” or “than” does it leave you as confused as this sign? I hope we can clear up the differences between “then” and “than” with this quick tip.
THEN: According to the dictionary here is the definition:
As an adverb:
- A point in time – For example: Back THEN clothing styles were very modest.
- Immediately or soon after – For example: Sandra stopped screaming, THEN started again.
- Next in the order of time – For example: Joe went to the store THEN to dinner.
- At the same time – For example: At first, her eyes looked blue, THEN green.
- Next in order of place – For example: The winners of the Golden Goose writer competition were: 1st place – Joe, 2nd place Sue, THEN 3rd place Grady.
As an adjective:
- being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated – For example: The THEN president of ACFW.
As a noun:
- At a certain point of time – For example: Andrew hasn’t been back to Sue’s house since THEN.
THAN: According to the dictionary here is the definition:
- Introduces a second member of unequal comparison. For example: Judith is a better writer THAN I am.
- Introduces an alternative or denote a difference in kind, place, style, etc. – For example: Texas has less restrictive gun laws THAN California
- Introduces the rejected choice in expressions of preference – For example: I would rather write THAN watch television.
- Except – For example: I had no other choice THAN to withdraw from the writing competition.
- When –
To drill things down to the quick tip, then is used to show time. Next, after, in a series, etc., and than is used to compare. I hope this not-so-quick tip helps clarify whether to use THEN or THAN.