"Then" Versus "Than"

Almost every week someone asks me to help them remember the difference between "then" and "than." Get the memory trick today.

Mignon Fogarty,
then versus than

Heather asked about "then" versus "than."

Do you confuse "then" and "than"? Don't worry; you're not alone. I get this question all the time.

"Then" has an element of time. For example, it can mean "next" or "at that time."

  • We ate and then we went to the movies.

  • Movies were a lot cheaper back then.

"Than" conveys a comparison.

  • DVDs are more expensive than videocassettes.

  • Aardvark is taller than Squiggly.

Quick and Dirty Tip:  Both "than" and "comparison" have the letter "a" in them, and "then" and "time" both have the letter "e."


Tall and short photo from Shutterstock.

Get more tips like this in Grammar Girl Presents the Ultimate Writing Guide for Students. (Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound)

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