Is it ‘Than’ or ‘Then’?

brian on the beachLots of folks get stumped when it comes to “than” vs. “then”. So here’s the scoop. Than is when you’re comparing two concepts.

  • We had less rain today than yesterday
  • The movie was worse than the book.
  • She loves him more than he will ever know.

Notice the “comparison words”?  More, Less, Worse, Better.   Remember – if you’re comparing two concepts, you’ll use the word “than”. .

On the other hand – Then is used when you’re dealing with cause & effect.

  • If it rains, then they’ll cancel the game.
  • If she’s a friend of Ben’s, then she’s a friend of mine!
  • If the gas tank is empty, then I’ll walk!

Notice – when the word “if” appears, it’s usually “then“.


Then is also used in sequence, after something preceding it.

  • First comes love, then comes marriage…
  • We got to the airport, then realized we’d forgotten the tickets.
  • Once they close the embassy, then it’s only a matter of time..


BONUS ROUND!  Now we’ll use both in the same single sentence.

  • If you like cycling better than driving, then we’ll ride our bikes!



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