Grammar: Than or Then?

Lesson 26: Than or Then?


Than or then?

Well, howdy! Don't tell me you don't know the difference between than and then!

Than and then sound like similar words, but they mean two different things…

When to use "than"

Than is used when making a comparison.

  • Example 1: Today is definitely hotter than yesterday!
  • Example 2: I think this house is bigger than the old one.

In these two examples, the words hotter and bigger come before than. Than is often accompanied by similar words–like less, fewer, more, greater, and so on.

When to use "then"

Then is used when referring to time or a sequence of events. It can also be used to indicate consequences. 

  • Example 1: Back then, we watched a lot of movies together. (time, in the past)
  • Example 2: My plan is to go to the post office, then the grocery store. (sequence of events)
  • Example 3: If you don’t eat your dinner, then you don’t get dessert! (consequence)