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Then or Than?

Average: 4.1 (30 votes)

It might be because the words are pronounced similarly that then and than are often confused by English learners. Let's take a look at the difference.


Then is used either as a time expression, as a consequence or with a sequence of events.

Then Examples:

As a time expression - Sorry I missed your call last night, I was already sleeping then.

As a consequence/result - Eat now, then you won't be so hungry later.

As a sequence marker - First boil the water, then add the noodles.


Than is not related to time, it is a conjunction. Than is used in the comparative form i.e. in comparative statements when comparing two things.

Than Examples:

You are older than I am.

She was later than usual.

That was much better than I was expecting.

A simple trick to help you remember the difference is that then is a time word like when. Both of these words are have an e in them. If you are talking about time, use the e word then.

Now decide if these sentences need then or than:

  • 1 - These recipes are healthier ___ mine.

  • 2 - The movie will end no later ___ midnight.

  • 3 - Tell me your test score, ___ I will tell you mine!

  • 4 - Summers seemed longer ___.

  • 5 - This meeting, ___, is over.

  • 6 - The weather was much better ___ I thought it would be.

  • 7 - I don't like crowds so I'd rather visit the countryside ___ the city.