In this lesson, we will be going over a pair of words that even native English speakers often have trouble using correctly. The two words are then and than. They both look and sound very much alike, so it can be hard to know when to use one vs. the other, but it is very important that you do know the difference, because they have different meanings.
One means "at that time," or at a specific time that you are already talking about, and the other is used in sentences comparing two things.
Both words are used very often in English, so let's go over each one and all of the definitions so that you can be sure to use them correctly!
The first word that we will be learning about is then, which is an adverb with several possible definitions.
The first way that you can use then is to mean "at that time," or at a specific time that you are talking about. Let's see a few examples of this definition used in a sentence.
Then can also mean "next," or "also." Here are some examples of then used in this way.
Another definition for then is "therefore," or in other words, it is used to express that one thing follows another in a list or that one thing causes another. Sentences where then is used in this way often begin with the word "if." Let's see a few more examples to help you understand.
The second word that we are going over in this lesson is than, which is a conjunction and preposition. Than also has several possible meanings.
The first meaning of than is to introduce the second thing in a sentence that is comparing two things. Let's see a few examples to give you a better idea of when to use than in this way.
Another way that you can use than is to express an exception to a statement. When used in this way, than is often written or said with the word "other" before it. Here are a few examples to help you understand this definition.
One collocation that we already went over is "other than," which is used when than is meant to express that something is an exception to a specific statement.
Two other collocations that you should know are "more than" and "less than," which are both used when making comparisons.
Another common phrase is "then again," which is used to introduce a second statement that is in contrast to one that came before it.
Now you know that then means "at that time," and than means that there is one thing begin compared to another! Even though you probably know each word pretty well now, it might still be hard sometimes to remember which one is which. There are even many native English speakers who mix the two words up.
A good way to remember when to use then and when to use than is to use this little trick. Then has an "e" in it and than has an "a," so when you see the "a" think "a comparison,." And when you see the "e," remember that it makes the word "the" if you leave the "n" off the end. So when you see that, you can think "the time."
With those two tricks to help you remember when to use then and when to use than, you should have no problem telling the two apart!
Heather bakes a loaf of bread for dinner, then she cooks some meat as well. If she turns the oven temperature up too high, then it will burn, so she is very careful. Heather likes meat more than bread, but she thinks that bread is healthier for her than meat. Heather needs to do the dishes, and then she will be able to relax until the food is ready to eat.
Other than Heather, there is no one home right now. Her roommate is coming home at six o'clock, then she will not be alone anymore. Before her roommate gets back, Heather wants to read a magazine, then find some flowers from outside, then call her mother and talk. She does not think that she has enough time to do everything, but then again, she is a very fast reader. If she starts now, then she can probably finish everything in time.Her roommate comes home earlier than usual, and Heather does not get to call her mother. She will just do it tomorrow instead, then. Her roommate asks what is for dinner, then walks into the kitchen. Heather says that there is meat and bread and if she wants some, then she can have it. Her roommate says that there is nothing she would rather do than eat dinner right now.
Fill in the blanks with the appropriate word. Each question is worth ten points.
1. then | 2. then | 3. than | 4. than | 5. than | 6. Then | 7.then | 8. then | 9. than | 10. than