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Thread: Than vs. Then

  1. #1
    Senior Member BallentineChen's Avatar
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    Default Than vs. Then

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    The English words than and then look and sound a lot alike, but they are completely different. If this distinction is harder than it should be, read this lesson and then try again.


    Than

    Than is a conjunction used in comparisons:

    Tom is smarter than Bill.

    This is more important than you might think.

    Is she taller than you?

    Yes, she is taller than I.

    Technically, you should use the subject pronoun after than (e.g., I), as opposed to the object pronoun (me). However, English speakers commonly use the object pronoun.


    Then

    Then has numerous meanings.

    1. At that point in time

    I wasn't ready then.

    Will you be home at noon? I'll call you then.

    2. Next, afterward

    I went to the store, and then to the bank

    Do your homework and then go to bed

    3. In addition, also, on top of that

    He told me he was leaving, and then that I owed him money

    It cost $5,000, and then there's tax too

    4. In that case, therefore (often with "if")

    If you want to go, then you'll have to finish your homework.

    I'm hungry!
    Then you should eat.


    The Bottom Line

    Than is used only in comparisons, so if you're comparing something use than. If not, then you have to use then. What could be easier than that?
    "For a man who wants to make a profession of good in all regards must come to ruin among so many who are not good. Hence it is necessary to a prince, if he wants to maintain himself, to learn to be able not to be good, and to use this and not use it according to necessity."
    Niccolo Machiavelli

  2. #2
    mrs disregard's Avatar
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    They don't sound that alike.

  3. #3
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    Seriously? I noticed it too but I didn't start a post.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Useful lesson. The distinction between then and than is one of the only English grammar rules I have difficulty with.

  5. #5
    Nips away your dignity Fluffywolf's Avatar
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    I have no problem with it. Try Dutch grammar, LOL. You'll have grey hair before you're in your 30's.
    ~Self-depricating Megalomaniacal Superwolf

  6. #6
    Senior Member Shimmy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffywolf View Post
    I have no problem with it. Try Dutch grammar, LOL. You'll have grey hair before you're in your 30's.
    Why bother, we change the grammar rules every year anyway! It makes no sense.

  7. #7
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    What difference does it make if they look and sound alike when they mean different things? I don't really see where the problem is.

  8. #8
    Was E.laur Laurie's Avatar
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    If they sound alike you can't figure out what word you should be typing just by translating the word in your head to letters.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Tiltyred's Avatar
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    They don't sound alike at all.

  10. #10
    Once Was Synarch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tiltyred View Post
    They don't sound alike at all.
    +1
    "Create like a god, command like a king, work like a slave."

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