Friday, January 4, 2008

Then and Than

 How do I know when to use "Then" and when to use "Than"?                     

This is a question that another journaler asked.  First I'll give a simple way to remember -- Then tells When. 

Now for more in-depth information about "then" and "than":

THEN can be an adverb, an adjective, or a noun. 

As an adverb it is used to specify the time in question.  (For example, I was then too busy.)  Or it can mean next, or after, or also.  (For example, Then {next} he told me to come in; Then {also} there are the children to consider.)  Also as an adverb it can mean "after all", "in that case", "if what you say is true", "if you must have it so" (for example when you give up arguing with your children and you say, "all right, then!").

As an adjective "then" is used to describe "that" or "who" was this-or-that at the time in question.  For example, "the then President".

As a noun "then" means "that time".  For example -- then and there, as in immediately and on the spot.

THAN is always, ONLY a conjunction, like "and", "but", "or", "nor".  So you are going to use "than" to show comparison or contrast.  It will introduce the second part of a comparison, such as "I am younger than he is."  That would be a comparison.  Or it can introduce the second part of a sentence that makes a statement of difference, such as "I will season with anything other than garlic."  That would be a contrast.

So Then tells When, and Than has an "a" like comparison and contrast.  I hope this helps.

I'm going to finish up a few things, and then I'm going to go to bed.  I'd rather go to bed now than oversleep in the morning!


lifes2odd said...

I think I have this one under control, don't hold me to that ;-)

manda2177 said...

OK!  I thank you again!  I read this through and I am going to have to bookamrk it to read it again and again.  Then...when.... Than...contrAst....I am thinking I can remember that much!!!


God bless-

libragem007 said...

good, educational entry.
hmn...educational--that was the purpose right? :-)
just kiddin'. Seriously, I like this journal.
Gem :-)

chaispice1023 said...

i make my share of typos, but nothing makes me more nuts than someone writing "then" for "than."  same goes for lose and loose.