Then and Than ...

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Then and Than ...

Post by Kangas on Tue Sep 25, 2012 12:29 pm

Have you ever felt any difficulty knowing when to use these words? Are they confusing to you? Embarassed

Well they are for a lot of people. For that reason, today we'll clear up that confusion so it becomes easy for everyone to distinguish these words and never confuse them again. Very Happy

Then can be an adverb or noun, it refer to a state or time, sequence or order of a particular situation. Example: "If they forecast rain for this afternoon, then you should take the umbrella." Than can be a preposition or conjunction, and it is used to compare things or situations. Example: "That phone is better than this one."

Let's see both definitions according to:

  • Then

    1. at that time: Prices were lower then.
    2. immediately or soon afterward: The rain stopped and then started again.
    3. next in order of time: We ate, then we started home.
    4. at the same time: At first the water seemed blue, then gray.
    5. next in order of place: Standing beside Charlie is my uncle, then my cousin, then my brother.
    6. in addition; besides; also: I love my job, and then it pays so well.
    7. in that case; as a consequence; in those circumstances: If you're sick, then you should stay in bed.
    8. since that is so; as it appears; therefore: You have, then, found the mistake? You are leaving tonight then.

    9. being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated: the then prime minister.

    10. that time: We have not been back since then. Till then, farewell.

    11. but then, but on the other hand: I found their conversation very dull, but then I have different tastes.
    12. then and there, at that precise time and place; at once; on the spot: I started to pack my things right then and there. Also, there and then.

  • Than

    1. (used, as after comparative adjectives and adverbs, to introduce the second member of an unequal comparison): She's taller than I am.
    2. (used after some adverbs and adjectives expressing choice or diversity, such as other, otherwise, else, anywhere, or different, to introduce an alternative or denote a difference in kind, place, style, identity, etc.): I had no choice other than that. You won't find such freedom anywhere else than in this country.
    3. (used to introduce the rejected choice in expressions of preference): I'd rather walk than drive there.
    4. except; other than: We had no choice than to return home.
    5. when: We had barely arrived than we had to leave again.

    6. in relation to; by comparison with (usually followed by a pronoun in the objective case): He is a person than whom I can imagine no one more courteous.

NOTE:, also shows a "usage note" for the word "than". Here is that note:

Usage note

Whether than is to be followed by the objective or subjective case of a pronoun is much discussed in usage guides. When, as a conjunction, than introduces a subordinate clause, the case of any pronouns following than is determined by their function in that clause: He is younger than I am. I like her better than I like him. When than is followed only by a pronoun or pronouns, with no verb expressed, the usual advice for determining the case is to form a clause mentally after than to see whether the pronoun would be a subject or an object. Thus, the sentences He was more upset than I and She gave him more sympathy than I are to be understood, respectively, as He was more upset than I was and She gave him more sympathy than I gave him. In the second sentence, the use of the objective case after than ( She gave him more sympathy than me ) would produce a different meaning ( She gave him more sympathy than she gave me ). This method of determining the case of pronouns after than is generally employed in formal speech and writing
Than occurs as a preposition in the old and well-established construction than whom : a musician than whom none is more expressive. In informal, especially uneducated, speech and writing, than is usually treated as a preposition and followed by the objective case of the pronoun: He is younger than me. She plays better poker than him, but you play even better than her. See also but1 , different, me.



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