Than or Then - How to Use 'Than' and 'Then' - Easily Confused Words in English

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In this lesson, we will learn to use the words ‘than’ and ‘then’ correctly in our conversations.


Alex: ‘Than’ and ‘then’ are words which are very often confused.

Laura: Yes Alex, they are very similar in pronunciation and spelling. That’s why new learners confuse them.

Alex: ‘Than’ is used to compare two things. For example : ‘Gold is more expensive than silver’.

Laura: Good example. Here is another : I am smarter than you!

Alex: You wish Laura! ‘Then’ is used to talk about something that happened after something else. For example: ‘The president thought for some time, then he gave the answer’.

Laura: Here goes another example: If you are feeling hot, then drink some cool water.

Alex: Correct Laura. Let’s listen to some conversations now.

Laura: Yes. Some more examples will definitely help.

Are the Beatles better than Jimi Hendrix?

Billy: Hey Joe, I like Jimi Hendrix more than the Beatles.

Joe: Jimi Hendrix is a great guitar player, but I think the Beatles are better than Hendrix any day.

Billy: Why do you think so?

Joe: They’ve got great lyrics, great songs. It’s a big band, Billy.

Billy: I love Hendrix more than the Beatles.

Joe: You are a big guitar fan, Billy.

Finding your way through midtown.

Billy: Hi! Can you tell me the way to the nearest Subway shop?

Joe: Okay. Go straight, then turn left. You’ll see the metro. Take the right from there, then go left again from the 2nd turn.

Billy: Hmm... Okay.

Joe: Then go for about 200 metres. You’ll see a bank. Take the left and then go straight till the first crossing, and then take the right again.

Joe: Billy: Oh wait a minute. Is that the nearest Subway?

Joe: Joe: Yes. Or you can go into Pizza Hut right across the street.

Joe: Billy: Hmm.. I think I will have a pizza today. I like pizza better than sandwich anyway.

Joe: Joe : But a Subway sandwich is healthier than a pizza.

Joe: Billy : Forget it. Buying a sandwich is gonna be a lot more complicated today.

Will it stop raining by then?

Laura: I have to go by 12 o’clock. Do you think it will stop raining by then?

Alex: I have no idea. It’s raining heavier than yesterday.

Laura: Let’s have some coffee while we wait.

Alex: I like tea more than coffee.

Laura: Really? I thought you liked coffee more than tea.

Alex: I’ve been enjoying some fine tea in my office lately. Now I like it better than coffee.

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