Common mistake comparisons then (than)

Common Mistake: Comparisons then (than)

One common mistake that many people make in their writing is confusing the words "then" and "than" when making comparisons. While they may sound similar, they have very different meanings and uses. This mistake can lead to confusion and misunderstanding in your writing.


The word "then" is primarily used as an adverb or an adjective to indicate time or sequence. It is used to describe an action that occurs after a certain event or in a certain order. Here are some examples:

  • I woke up early, then brushed my teeth.
  • She finished her meal, and then she went for a walk.

In these examples, "then" is used to show the relationship between two actions or events in a specific order.


The word "than," on the other hand, is used for making comparisons. It is used to indicate a difference in quantity, quality, or degree between two things. Here are some examples:

  • She is taller than her brother.
  • I would rather stay at home than go to the party.

In these examples, "than" is used to compare the height of the girl to her brother and to express a preference for staying at home over going to the party.

How to Avoid the Mistake

To avoid confusing "then" and "than," it is important to remember their different meanings and uses. Here are a few tips:

  • When indicating a sequence of events or time, use "then." For example: "First, I will finish my homework, then I will go for a run."
  • When making comparisons, use "than." For example: "This laptop is faster than my old one."

By keeping these tips in mind, you can avoid mixing up "then" and "than" in your writing and communicate your ideas more clearly.

Linguix grammar checker is a helpful tool for identifying and correcting these types of mistakes, as well as many others, in your writing.

comparisons then (than) mistake examples

  • Incorrect:
    It was hotter then it'd ever been.

    It was hotter than it'd ever been.

  • Correct:
    It was hotter than it'd ever been.
  • Correct:
    We were younger then.
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