then and than

A visitor to the site asked about when to use than or then. Here is the answer:

  • Use then to show sequence, what happens next. Other meanings include “at that time” and “as a necessary consequence”
    – The whole family had a leisurely breakfast. We then went outside to enjoy the beautiful weather.
    – He was just a little child then.
    – If she is going to write another novel, then she should find another editor.
  • Use than to compare things.
    Example: The dinosaur bones were older than anything I had ever seen before.
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6 Responses to then and than

  1. Blogger125 says:

    Thanks! I have always wondered about that.
    Also thanks to the creator/web master of this site for creating such a useful and informative site!

  2. Scott says:

    I probably use these two words wrong more than anyone. I bookmarked this to remind me.

  3. just me alex says:

    WOW, I always screw these two up! I just usually ended up writing out what sounded best without further thought. I printed them out and have them hanging on my desk!!

  4. Lee says:

    Thanks, I needed this for an article. I usually remember this but sometimes need a refresher.

  5. Toni says:

    woah. I’m doing a HUUUGE english paper and now i feel the need to go back and check up on my “then”s and “than”s.

  6. Sidney says:

    Thanks for the help with then/than. I seem to use it correctly; however, felt it was time to learn the rule. I used to have the same problem with to/too. Knowing the English rule is 90% of the battle.