Then and than, two English words, are very often confused for one another and used improperly. Both of these words have correct usages, and this article will help explain the difference between them.
Then is a word that’s used to give a sense of time or sequence to actions. It is an adverb, meaning it modifies the verb being used in the sentence. Here is an example of two usages of “then”:
Than is a conjunction that’s used to make comparisons. When you are trying to say that two different objects have different qualities to one another, or that two different subjects have a different way of completing a certain verb, you would use “than.” A few examples can be seen below.
|Used to give a sense of time or a sequence of events||Used to compare the qualities of two objects or subjects|
Then vs Than
What is the difference between then and than?
Then is an adverb used to sequentially explain a series of events or give a distinct sense of time to a certain event or entity, whereas than is a conjunction that’s used as a comparative, or in other words, used to compare the qualities of two objects or subjects.
Below are some examples using the words correctly and incorrectly, with the incorrect examples explained.
The reason this is incorrect is because the sentence is trying to say that the man enjoys one thing more than another. In this incorrect usage (even though the grammar is incorrect), the sentence says that the man enjoyed working more, and then he enjoyed relaxing. If a conjunction like “and” were used, then it would be correct.
The sentence is trying to explain a sequence of events – the subjects take a dog to a park and then go home. There is nothing to compare, so the sentence doesn’t make sense.
The humorous video below features CM Punk, a pro wrestler, explaining the difference between then and than.