We all had been at the stage where it was hard to differentiate where to use ‘a’ and where to use ‘an’ and deciding whether it is ‘a university’ or ‘an university’ but somehow managed to learn the use of both by simple technique of vowel sounds. But as we grew up the use of technical language with perfect grammar was required for communication. Communication, especially verbal communication is based on the correct usage of words. Whether it is a tense, a spelling, a homophone, or a complex word, each requires a perfect and flawless usage for interesting communication.
When it comes to writing, people often confuse words which sound similar or are almost identical with spellings, major example of which is the use of ‘then’ and ‘than’.
Then vs Than:
The major difference that is visible between then & than is the spelling as it is visible but there is a lot more difference in the meaning of both. Then compared to than is used when there is a description of time or the writer is referring to time or the moment of past or future. But ‘than’ unlike ‘then’ is used when there is a comparison or a distinction described between two things or more. But due to much similarity in their pronunciation and spelling they are misused in place of one another.
Reader often gets confused by this misuse and cannot get the entire context of what is written as the replacement of ‘a’ with ‘e’ can cause a huge difference in meaning or the change of entire context in which the sentence was written.
Then versus Than – Parts of Speech:
Then has various functions but it is commonly used as an adverb or as an adjective as it follows a verb or a noun in a sentence but sometime precede a sentence too. There is no hard and fast rule for the placement of then in a sentence but it is used when there is description of time, also sometimes then is also used as placement of words as moreover or besides.
Then compared to Than, is a conjunction i.e. joins two nouns, adjectives, or two phrases together. Than is used in a sentence where there is a comparison between two objects, people, or two elements.
Then vs Than Examples:
Whether it is then or it is than, both are the workhorses for language. People either confuse these due to their similar pronunciation or they don’t know the difference at all. There is no harm in correcting a grammatical error for once but to avoid the mistakes again, below are some examples to clearly differentiate between than and then.
Use of Then:
When referring a specific time:
- I was stuck in traffic then.
- You can pick me at 3 noon, I’ll be ready by then.
When referring to time next or immediately after:
- We attended the lecture then we went for sports trial.
- We watched a movie then we went for shopping.
When using in addition to moreover or besides:
- The crockery is already so expensive then there are additional tax charges.
- First, you have to complete your graduation degree and then you can have a job.
When used as accordingly:
- If rain won’t stop, then my flight will be late.
- If I will not study, then I will not get good grades.
The above uses were as an adverb, but as an adjective then is used as so on time;
- The contract was signed by then the chairman.
Use of Than:
Then compared to than is quite easy in its usage as where there is comparison there must be use of than.
- He is stronger than me.
- This tree is taller than that.
- You are 3 minutes more late than me.
- This flower has stronger smell than that one.
- Red is brighter than pink.
Then compared to than, mostly follows time related scenarios while than follows comparative degree of adjective in a sentence which is quite clear from the examples of then vs than.