Thursday, 31 March 2016

Are you using the right then/than?

Another very common mistake I see everywhere is misuse of then/than. I realise they sound the same, but they have two very different meanings. So, when you use the wrong one it changes the entire meaning of your sentence.
“Then”, with the “e”, is an adverb. It indicates a point in time, or introduces a new idea or event.
You can say “First I ate dinner, and then I had dessert” or “Back then I didn’t like dessert” or “If you’re feeling sick, then you probably shouldn’t have dessert”.
But you cannot say “My dessert is better then yours”. That’s what “than” is for.

"Than" is used for comparisons and contrasts, and that’s all!
You can say “My cake tastes nicer than yours” or “I ate my dessert before dinner, rather than after it”.
But you cannot say “Than it started to rain”. That just doesn’t make sense. Also it has nothing to do with dessert.

If it helps you to remember, try thinking of the fact that comparison and contrast have the letter “a” in them, and so does “than”.
Hope this helps!

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