Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Get It Right: Then And Than

If only we lived in a perfect world where people knew the difference between the letter a and the letter e (excluding Geordies who pronounce them the same)... the difference between these words is only one letter! How do people still get it wrong?

Then

Use it if something happened followed by something else. It indicates a continuation. "I learned how to speak properly, then people didn't think I was a moron."

It also is used to refer to a specific moment in time. "My stupidity was blatant then."

Sideburns were cool then.

Than

It's used for comparing or contrasting. "Now that I have learned how to speak properly, I feel smarter than before. People who use correct grammar are smarter than those who don't."

Think of it this way: You were using the words incorrectly, then you learned the correct way to use them and you felt better than before.

Mercury is smaller than Earth.

Sequential? Then. Comparative? Than.