10 Significant Differences Between Then And Than

Filed in Education by on May 21, 2021

Difference between then and than: A few English words are popularly mistaken for each other and ‘then’ and ‘than’ seem to be on that list. The word ‘then’ denotes time and is used in the sense of both past tense and the future tense. The word ‘then’ is used in the comparison.

The two words ‘then’ and ‘than’ have a clear difference in their grammatical category and their usage. The major difference between ‘then’ and ‘than’ is that then is an adverb whereas than is a preposition as well as a conjunction.

There’s nothing more embarrassing then correcting someone’s language only to realize that your correction contains its own error. Like maybe the one in our first sentence. Did you see it? That harmless little four-letter word then. It should have been than.

What does Then mean?

Assuming you look up the Oxford English dictionary right now, then means “at that time; at the time in question.” If you look at the following sentence, you can see how the word then indicates the sense at that time.

Then I heard a loud noise.

Now, look at the following sentence. In this sentence the word then merely indicates time.

I was young then.

In the given sentence, the word then indicates the past when the speaker was younger than he is now.

Sometimes the word then is used to suggest extra information about something as in the sentence given below.

He is feeble now and then he suffers from high blood pressure.

In such cases, you can see the presence of the conjunction and too.

Then is used to end dialogues as in the sentence ‘well then, I shall leave.

What Does ‘Than’ Mean?

The conjunction than, which is as well as a preposition has the description “introducing the second element in a comparison” as its definition in the Oxford English dictionary.

‘Than’ is basically a comparative term, which is used to make a comparison between two entities, units, individuals, and other elements. That is why its position in a sentence is just after a comparative adjective and adverb. Here’s how ‘than’ is used in our sentences:

It is used as a preposition, it emphasizes the other entity of comparison:

My Dad is richer than the principal

My daughter scored a better percentage in class 12th than her friend.

It acts as a conjunction to highlight an exception:

I prefer walking rather than jogging as an exercise.

There is no better hotel other than this.

It can also be used to show an option or diversity, and it also indicates an unpreferred choice:

I would rather be an author than a poet.

10 Differences Between Then And Than

1. Then is an adverb. Than is a preposition as well as a conjunction. Than is much known for being used in the comparative form.

2. Then indicates time. The preposition than is used in the fifth case or the ablative case. This is the major difference between the two words then and than.

3. The word then is used to add information to an expression, is often used in the sense of reiteration, to convey the sense of a consequence and sequence of something.

4. The word than is sometimes used to show that one incident has happened after another.

5. The word then sometimes is used in the sense at that time.

6. Sometimes the word then is used to suggest extra information about something.

7. Then is used to end dialogues.

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CSN Team.

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