Difference Between THAN and THEN

In the English language, there are a lot of words which look similar and sounds close to each other. The can be very confusing. Then and than also fall in this category of words. These words are frequently used and the wrong usage of these words can lead to committing grammatical blunders. Today, in this post difference between then and than as well as usage of these words is clarified with the help of examples.

The meaning of than is completely different from that of then, therefore, the wrong usage of these words can convey the inaccurate message to the people.

For ease to remember the key difference between then and than, look at the following sentence.

In “than” and “comparison”, letter ‘a’ is common and in “then” and “time” letter ‘e’ is common.

Than is used for comparison purpose while then is used with reference to time.

When to use THAN

Than is used when you compare two terms. For example, the area of this building is greater than that of an adjacent building. You can use “than” when there is a matter of comparison between two objects, persons or terms. It is used as a conjunction when there is a second part comparison, for example, He should not workout more than his body allows.  It is used as a preposition when there is a comparison, for example, She is taller than her mom.

Examples of than

  • John is younger than Peter.
  • This house is larger than mine.
  • $10 is less than $12.
  • It will take less than 10 minutes to reach there.
  • Salary of John is more than that of Brian.

When to use THEN

Now, look at another example, First I’ll go to the park, then take my lunch. It is a matter of time or consequence. Then is used when there is involvement of time. It is used as an adverb, for example, we slept, then we ate. It can be used as an adjective, for example, the then Chief Executive Officer.

Examples of then

  • The teams will play a warm-up match, then a bilateral series.
  • My friend asked me to wait until then.
  • The result of the exam shall be announced next week until then the students have to hope for the best.
  • The then minister of state.
  • First pay the bill, then ask for service.