Read This. Then You’ll Know When to Use Than.
If you’re talking about when, the word is THEN.
To compare, you can, but that word is THAN.
Using “then” when you should use “than” is a common error. It covers most socioeconomic classes and education levels. I read an article just the other day, written by a well-educated author I respect greatly, in which the word “then” appeared in a phrase comparing one thing to another. It made me cringe.
I can’t remember ever seeing the converse error – someone using “than” in place of “then.” Perhaps there is a linguist out there who can explain why that is.
Here are some examples of getting it wrong:
“His to-do list is longer then his arm.”
“She approached homework with a less-then-conscientious attitude.”
“I’m happier then you can imagine!”
You get the idea.
So, don’t commit this common error – you’re better than that.
Think about it. Remember the silly little poem that opened this post.
Then you’ll do the right thing, more often than not.
Stay tuned for more insights on how to harness the power of words!