The Grammar Guide Spelling What is the difference between "than" and "then"?

What is the difference between "than" and "then"?

What is the difference between "than" and "then"?

The words than and then are often confused because they have a similar spelling. We'll help you to understand the difference.

Than is a preposition that is used to introduce a comparison. It is associated with comparatives and with words such as more, less, and fewer. Out of the two words, than is the most common. For example:

  • He is bigger than me.
  • She has more than me.
  • They have less than me.

Then means at that time when used as an adverb, e.g. We left then, before the weather turned.

A good way to remember the difference is to think then is related to time, which are both spelled with a T and an E.

Is the expression more than any other or more then any other?

The right expression is more than any other. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

Should I use more than anything else or more then anything else?

The right phrase is more than anything else. These phrases are often confused because they appear similar.

What's the right phrase, no more than or no more then?

You should use no more than. These phrases are often confused because they look similar.

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The definitions in this article were adapted from Wiktionary.

Examples of than in a sentence

But does he know more than he’s letting on?
- Secret Weapon Spouse by B. J. Daniels
I think I respect you more for that than I do for your invincible courage."
- Demon Lord of Karanda by David Eddings
She was of average height, square-shouldered and leaner than is becoming in a woman.
- Weighed in the balance by Anne Perry
The pain was sharper than a stitch and was caused by something deep within him.
- The Hound of Rowan by Henry H. Neff
Kelli was a lot faster than Tammi.
- The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

Examples of then in a sentence

It’s an amazing ride as she seeks, and then finds, meaning and connection in her life.
- Some Girls: My Life in a Harem by Jillian Lauren
And then you don't have a bar code at all--a nightmare."
- Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
Then, “But so are you, in and of yourself.”
- The wandering fire by Guy Gavriel Kay
Then she cocked her head down the hall.
- Beyond belief by Roy Johansen
Maybe we can look into it more then,” Lucy said.
- The Replacement Child by Christine Barber

Test yourself

Choose the missing word in each question.