Grammar 101: Then vs.Than

by IELTS Australia — November 22nd, 2017

Then vs. than: Two words that can cause some confusion and it’s well worth to spend a few minutes to know the difference between the two.

Because “then” and “than” are homophones (words that sound alike), they are often confused. Some tips on telling them apart.

Click each topic to learn more about the differences between its and it’s.

Then vs. Than: the difference
Then

Is an adverb: A word that describes, gives more information about a verb, adjective, adverb or phrase.

Than

Is a preposition or conjunction: A word that is used before a noun, a noun phrase, or a pronoun, connecting it to another word.

Then vs. Than: the definitions
Then
  • At that time (in the past or in the future).
  • Next or after that.
  • In addition.
Than
  • Used to join two parts of a comparison.
  • Used with “more” or “less” to compare numbers or amounts.
Then vs. Than: the synonyms
Then

Could also mean (synonyms): Again, later, next, at that moment, soon after, at that time.

Than

There are no synonyms for this word

Then vs. Than: in a sentence
Then
  • The toddler touched my cheeks and then pinched it hard.
  • Last night it rained and then turned cold and humid.
  • She then walked away, leaving all her belongings behind.
  • “What do you hope to achieve from this, then?” she asked him out of frustration.
  • Thank you,” Jane said and then blushed because she wasn’t used to compliments.
Than
  • I think she loves Indian food more than I do.
  • She performed much better than I expected.
  • I can cook dinner in less than an hour.
  • Contrary to popular belief, I believe that Jane is a better actress than Kim.
  • Do you think the colour red suits me better than blue?

Reference: Cambridge Dictionary