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Grammar Tip: "Than" vs "Then"

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Certain words seem to frequently be confused and used incorrectly. This is a guide about grammar tip: "than" vs "then".


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February 15, 201015 found this helpful

My mother always taught me that speaking, and writing well was the sign of intelligence. It distresses me how many usually well-spoken people mix up the two simple words than and then when writing. I figured out a mnemonic I hope will help.

Than is a comparison word. For example, I might say "I like vanilla ice cream more than chocolate." Or, "My children are all taller than I am."

Then, on the other hand, is a sequence of events word. For example, I might say, "I'll save my files, then I'll turn off my computer." Or, "My husband went to the grocery, then he stopped at his friend's house."


JustPlainJo from Springfield, Ohio

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March 1, 20101 found this helpful

Whew! Cajun, thanks for posting that link. I've been struggling with a way to simplify the apostrophe thing since Nancy asked.

I guess I can sum up one common goof - that is, THEY'RE/THEIR/THERE - in this one sentence: "THEY'RE (they are) having THEIR (possessive) dinner in THERE (location.)

Hope that makes at least this one confusing set of homonyms a little clearer!

btw, Jess, I'd enjoy being a ThriftyFun editor if only I had the time and energy!

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March 1, 20100 found this helpful

"where you at?" makes me cringe!

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March 3, 20100 found this helpful

Ginnee, I spent a lot of time in speech therapy so I wouldn't slur my Rs - so I'm really, really sensitive to lazy speech!

btw, the low number of comments you've posted (beside your name) tells me you're new to ThriftyFun. Welcome!

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March 15, 20100 found this helpful

Just wanted to thank everyone who voted for this tip. I got the email today - I'm a contest winner thanks to all of your votes!

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

It is a great tip and you're welcome and Congratulations! ;-)

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March 16, 20100 found this helpful

Oh, my! I'm so happy to see I'm not the only member of the Grammar Police here :)

True story: The hubby, adult daughter and I were cruising the flea market one morning when my daughter saw an item she knew I'd like, and held it up to show my husband. He went over and whispered something to her, and she replaced it and moved along.

I was puzzled. "Dear," the DH said "I told her not to bother. The booth had misspelled signs and we know how you can get...."

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March 18, 20100 found this helpful

PupperMom, I love that story! The funniest thing is, I oftentimes catch misspellings and typos, even using a screen-reader, lol!

Hey, gang, I have a 2nd grammar tip, "Stationary vs Stationery." It got published this week. I'd really love it if you all help me win a 2nd tip contest. :D

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May 22, 20100 found this helpful

In the Ohio school district where I taught, we were NOT to spend much time on grammar! At least that is what we were told. English became language arts with an emphasis on writing. The organization of the writing, not the spelling or grammar, was important because that was the emphasis of the state proficiency testing. We teachers were told that spelling and grammar were not important.

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September 30, 20110 found this helpful

pronouncing 6th as sickth and not sixth

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January 19, 20130 found this helpful

affect - An action

effect - A result

could of - [Youre an idiot]

could've - Could have

it's - It is or it has

its - Indicating possession

loose - Not tightened

lose - Failed to keep or maintain of

their - Belonging to; indicating possession

there - A place

they're They are

we're - We are

were Past-tense of are

where - A location

you're - You are

your - Indicating possession; belonging to you

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