Then or Than: Learn with mind trick

Then or Than ?
English has many confusing words that lead us to misuse them. Today, we will discuss about the words then and than that look similar and sound similar, but their uses are different.





Wrong usages of then and than:
Let us see wrong usages of then and than in a sentence.
We saw a play and than went home. (Use then)
Mohan is taller then Sohan is. (Use than)
First you add a your pin code, and than withdraw you money. (Use then)
My essay is better then your essay. (Use than )


When to use then.
Then (Adv./Adj.)
  • used to refer to a particular time in the past or future
  1. He used to live in India and then move to U.S.
  • used to introduce the next item in a series of actions, events, instructions, etc.
  1. First cook the onions, then add the mushrooms.
  • used to introduce additional information
  1. She has been very busy at work and then there was all that trouble with her son.


When to use than: 
Than (conjunction)
  • It is a conjunction used in comparatives. We use than after a comparative adjective or adverb in order to link two parts of a comparison.
  1. He is more smarter than she is.
  2. There was more whisky than water.

Mind trick:
As we have known that Than is a comparative word, it is used in comparative sentences as better than..., smaller than..., taller than... . You have to relate the word than with the word comparison, as both of the words have "a" in common. You can remember this by the "a" in thAn and compArison.
As we have known that Then indicates about future or next. You can remember this by the "e" in thEn and nExt as both of the words have "e" in common.
Some more usages of Then:
Grammarians sometimes object to use of then as an adjective: then President, means the President at that time in past. You shouldn't use this construction to be in safe place. You can write the word former in place then, just to be in safe zone. However, the construction is now firmly  established, and it can safely be used in formal contexts.

Here we have some more common errors in the usages of Than:
  • Than is sometimes mistakenly used in place of to after superior, inferior, senior and junior.
  1. The new products are far superior than the old ones. (use superior to)
  2. The new house is inferior than the old one. (use inferior to)
We should use to here, not than.
  • Than is also often mistakenly used in place of when in constructions after barely, hardly, and scarcely.
  1. Hardly had she opened the book than the doorbell rang. (use when in place of than)

In a nutshell
Then is used for what is next. And Than is used for comparing two things.




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