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Than vs. Then

Than vs. Then

Author: Rob Rosen

I know it's simple but I struggled for a long time with the very simple concept of differentiating than vs. then. Therefore, I thought I'd pull in some helpful content I've used over the years.

Than vs. Then

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This was a video I pulled in that helped explain the concept. It's a little choppy but I love the condescending tone.

Than vs. Then Defined


The Most Common Usages

Than: a comparison

Then: a description of time

For a more detailed explanation, see the definitions below.






Examples of Than: A comparison

  • Even at the age of twelve she was taller than I.
  • She is a better singer than he.
  • Tillamook cheese is much better than Kraft.


Definition: Than

  1. Used after a comparative adjective or adverb to introduce the second element or clause of an unequal comparison: She had better grammar than I.



  2. Used to introduce the second element after certain words indicating difference: He sang at a lower octave than she.



  3. When. Used especially after hardly and scarcely: I had hardly the energy to smile than I saw your face.



Examples of Then: A description of time

  • I want to go to a restaurant then to the party.
  • I loved the movie French Kiss, but then, I love sappy movies.
  • Then, out of nowhere, she started to dance.



Definition: Then

  1. At that time: Come over to my house, I'll show you then.
  2. Immediately following: First I will get a haircut, then I will get a manicure.
  3. In addition: She wanted $100 and then interest too.
  4. As a consequence; therefore: She wants to be a star, then, she does the work.
  5. In that case: If you want my money, take it then.
  6. Used after but to qualify or balance a preceding statement: He was a star, but then he always worked so hard.


  7. Used in "if...then" statements: If you study hard in high school, then you can get into a good college.