Did you notice than and then in the above sentence? Do you sometimes get confused when to use which than? No worries! Today we will unburden you from this confusion as we will explain the meanings and usage of both than and then with examples.
Then as an adverb:
Then is used in situations quoting time like “She was gone for shopping then.” Then is also used for representing a point in time afterwards like “Sara won the first and then the second game.” Therefore or in that case is also sometimes denoted by then like “If that’s what you want, then I can’t help you.” When it is used at the end of the sentence it emphasize on the interference drawn like “So you came then.” Sometimes it is also used to finish off a sentence, “See you later then.”
Than as conjunction:
Than with an a can be used as a conjunction or sometimes as a preposition in sentences. When you introduce a second element in comparison to the first one, you use than. “He is much smarter than his friend.” When presenting a contrast or exception to the regular objects in an expression, than is utilized. “He lost everything other than his cellphone.” Than is also sometimes used in expressions where it is implied that one thing happened immediately after another. “The work was scarcely completed than it was abandoned.”
You must be clear about the meanings of both the words but still worried about confusing one than for the other in writing. To help you distinguish between the two words you have to first remember that, than with an a, does not have a one word synonym which can be used in its place. Try to replace than in the following sentence:
The exception in this synonym distinction of than and then is when then is used in if – then clauses, in that case you just have to work your mind a little and remember that in an if – then clause, then with an e is always used.
Then vs. than:
Then with an e is always used as an adverb to describe a time or sequence of a thing in a sentence. ‘Sara went to the station and then boarded a train to Paris’ cannot be written as ‘Sara went to the station and than boarded a train to Paris’. Than with an a, in contrast, is required to serve the function of a conjunction or preposition in a sentence. Mike rallied against Trump rather than voting for him.
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