When to use then and than

I’ve been suffering with a cold, which is the third for this winter. And yes I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

However, I’m feeling a little bit better than I was and I thought I do a mini lesson.

If I’ve done this one before, please forgive me.

When to use then and than

By Janice Seagraves

Then and Than may look a lot alike but they are used for two completely different functions.

Use then when you need to show when something happened.

Example: Karen went out to the car to get her purse and then came back inside.

I didn’t use a comma here because Karen did both things.

However, you can also use then by itself since and is implied.

Example: Karen went out the car to get her purse, then came back inside.

Why not use and by itself?

Because and is used when something happens at the same time. Karen can’t go out the car and go back inside at the same time, so and can’t be used here.

On shorter sentences you wouldn’t necessarily need the comma, but here I used it in place of the missing and. However on longer sentences you can use and then.

And then there was than.

Use than when you’re comparing things.

Example: I like this banana better than that apple.

Example: I like driving the Cadillac more than I did the Toyota.

Example: I like skiing better than hiking through the snow.

From this example you might think you’d use then more than than, then you’d be right.

 

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