Then or Than?

Fluency in English requires understanding when and how to use "than," not just "then."

A very common mistake is using then where than should be or using then everywhere.

We want to set the record straight: Then and than are not the same word. Then and than are not even related words. One is certainly not "a form of" the other.

Using these words correctly is always better than incorrectly.

If you need clarity about how to remember the difference, then please read on.


Then indicates time, order and result.

How can you remember this?

1. Like then, all of these words--time, order, and result--have the letter e.

2. Then means when.

(Then rhymes with when!).

The recipe says to combine all of the ingredients then stir them.

If you are sleepy, then it's bedtime.


Than is used for comparisons and nothing else.

How can you remember this?

The words comparisons and than have a.

Jan tans more than Dan can.

That tower is much taller than the other buildings.

If you understand the difference much better now than before this article, then we are satisfied! Thanks for reading.

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