Then: Adverb. Used to explain something at the time it is taking place. Then can also be used to demonstrate the order in which things are to happen. Also used is to infer, to say something appears a certain way or to show a necessary consequence.
HUGE TIP: The “If – Then” rule. Starting a sentence with ‘if’ ‘then’ isn’t usually far behind.
- Incorrect: If you’re making lemonade than you’ll need lemons, silly!
- Correct: If you’re making lemonade then you’ll need lemons, silly!
Than: Conjunction. Function word used to demonstrate the difference of type, manner, or identity. Than is commonly used to show comparisons.
- Incorrect: To ride in the larger car than you should ride with mom.
- Correct: I’d rather ride in the larger car than the smaller one.
Here are a few common uses:
- Rather than…
- Other than…
- More than likely…
So, the thing to remember is, ‘then’ is used to describe or demonstrate in a matter of time or an order of actions to take place. ‘Than’ is used to compare.
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