than and then

Then relates to time.
Than is used to introduce a comparison.

Than and Then

The words then and than look similar, but their uses are very different.


The word then usually relates to time. It is most commonly used as an adverb. It has the following meanings:

Subsequently or afterwards As a consequence or in that case. At that time or that time.


The word than introduces a comparison. It is most often seen with comparatives and words like more, less and fewer.

A Quick Test

Those with English as a second language are particularly prone to confusing than and then. A native English speaker confusing these words constitutes a grammatical howler.


Comparisons involving time tend to attract this error. Remember, use than for comparisons, including those involving time.

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See Also

What are adjectives? What are adverbs? More on comparatives (from adjectives) More on comparatives (from adverbs) List of easily confused words