Difference Between Then and Than


Main Difference

Then and Than are the two most common words in the English language that seems to be similar as they have the same pronunciation. Both these words are totally different and possess different meanings. Then is the word which is used mostly for the time and sense of what will comes next, Whereas Than is used commonly for the comparison purpose between various things. The main difference to remember is that then refers to time and “than” refers to the comparison.

Comparison Chart

In English language, then is the word, which is use for the determination of time.In the English Language “than” is the word, which is used for the comparison between things. It demonstrates the difference and contrasts between the things.
Used As
Usually, it is used as adverb and adjective. But in some rare cases as a noun as well. Its basic origin is the noun. It is well-known as an adverb.“Than” is used as a preposition or conjunction in a sentence or phrase. As it compares the things, it also connects two different sentences and phrases together.
Before 900 B.C Old Saxon, Old German danne, Dutch dan, Middle English thanne.Before 900 B.C Old Saxon, Old High German thanna, Old English thanne, Dutch dann.
Famous Idioms
Then and there.” “Now and then.”“Action speak louder than a word.” “Bite off more than you can chew.”
“My friend left the city, and I have not met him since then.” “She gave a cold stare to me; then she left the room.”“It is good to be an alone lion than being in the pack of wolves.” “My brother eats more than me.”

What is “Then”?

Then is the English language word that is used as an adverb, adjective, and even noun. It is used to demonstrate the order of the occurrence of various events or to determine the specific time. Often it is confused because of its similarity with “than.” This word is part of the English language from the early ages of English language and has been through various development stages. The main use of then is an adverb and adjective. It is usually used to demonstrate the time or any particular relation to the time. Other than using it as adverb and adjective, it is in some cases also used as a noun. The best way to remember then is that it has an “e” in it and so time also do possess an “e” in it.



  • First will be eddy’s turn; then it would be Andy and then John.

(In the above sentence then indicates the next coming people as a noun as events to come.)

  • I will reach in office at seven but would you be there then?

(In the above sentence then determines the time.)

What is “Than”?

“Than” is the English language word that is used both as preposition and conjunction. The main use of the word is to show the comparison between two or more things. In term of comparing this word joins two different phases and sentences together making them one sentence. It is used to indicate the differences as well. “Than” is way much useful in demonstrating the contrasting between two or more scenarios. It is new word as compared to then. It is derived from then. Although “Than” was in use from the early English language ages but was never thought to be different as compare to then. Then was used for the comparison as well but later on “Than” toke it place altogether. People usually are not able to differentiate between then and ‘than’ and are often end up mixing them both. The easiest way to remember the use of ‘’than” is that possess an “a” in it which is present in comparison, so it indicates the comparison.


  • Liza is prettier than her mother.
  • I would prefer to watch sports than watching documentaries.

(In both of the above sentences, than is used for comparison.)

Then vs. Than

  • Then is used for determining the time and indicates the upcoming events.
  • Than is used for the comparison between two or more things and It is also used for the differentiation and contrasting various consequences.
  • Then is used as an adverb, adjective and as well as noun.
  • “Than” is used as both preposition and conjunction.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss