Grammar Repair Shop: ‘Then’ vs. ‘Than’ — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Grammar Repair Shop: ‘Then’ vs. ‘Than’

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in Workplace Communication

Reader Susan McDowell of Meriden, Conn., says she loathes this grammatical pet peeve: People who use the word then when they mean than.

Then and than may be confused in speech, but when it comes to the written word, these two words are not interchangeable.

Here’s the key difference:

Than is used for comparisons.

Example: “He had an earlier flight than I did.”

Then is used to describe the sequence of something or to set up a cause-and-effect scenario.

Examples: “First I had lunch, then I caught my flight.” “If you work hard, then you’ll be in line for a promotion.”

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