What's the difference between THEN and THAN?

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Then & Than

'Than' is the word you use when comparing -

I am older than you. Wine is stronger than beer

An elephant is bigger than a turkey, and so on.

'Than' nearly always comes immediately after a comparative adjective.

What is a comparative adjective?

Adjectives are words that describe or qualify nouns -

red car, sweet wine, old house

But most adjectives come in three flavours, positive, comparative, superlative -

big, bigger, biggest or good, better, best

The comparative is the middle one, and ends in -er

So, be looking out for those -er adjectives, and always use than straight after.

What about 'then' ?

'Then' is used when talking about time -

Do this first, then do that. or, I turned left, then right.

Then is also used with If -

If you are thirsty, then you should drink water. (You can often miss out then altogether, but you can't use than in its place).

Now, just to finish

There is one common but wrong use of than.

You should not say different than. The correct way is different from.

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Comments 17 comments

Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY

Excellent


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 9 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Veronica -

Thank you! You are my first commenter (commentator?) since I joined this hubbing thing earlier this week.

- Paraglider (!)


Veronica profile image

Veronica 9 years ago from NY

Oooh, I love being the first! :D

Best to you in HUBpages and in all you do


Stacey 7 years ago

great explaination! thanks


Audacious Shelley 7 years ago

I appreciate this hub very much, Paraglider. As an English major, the misuse of "then" and "than" and even "nucular" instead of "nuclear" has been one of my GREATEST grammatical pet peeves. Thank you so much.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Thanks Emily Rose - at one time I thought about doing a series of these hubs but discovered they've already been done! (By Robin, mainly - check her out)


Paraglider 7 years ago

I hate it I mean! I HATE YOU!


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Will the real Paraglider please stand up !


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 7 years ago from New York

I knew it was only a matter of time before you were cloned!

Q.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

I don't mind, if he's willing to pick up some of my workload!


Quilligrapher profile image

Quilligrapher 7 years ago from New York

...and some of your bills as well, I bet.

Q.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 7 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

that too!


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Good one, Dave! I have some "pet peeves" too - like the differences between "your" and "you're"; "affect" and "effect"; "incidents" and "incidence"; "amount" and "number"; "lend" and "borrow"; just to name some of the worst - like to have a go at these? Not that I want to put you into an English teacher role, just you do it so well!

Love and peace

Tony


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi Tony - this was my second or third hub, three years ago. I'd thought of running a series of these, but discovered another hubber (I've suddenly forgotten her name) who has already done it, and very well. So this is my only offering in the field.


weblog profile image

weblog 5 years ago from 1India

I like the way the hub is presented.

Did you use these separating lines (those in red) when you were new to hubs?


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 5 years ago from Kyle, Scotland Author

Hi weblog - yes, I did. I still use them sometimes, when I remember.


Anthony 2 years ago

Next blog should be about "there, their and they're"... Not to mention "your and you're"....

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