It is a common misconception, especially among students, that the words ‘then’ and ‘than’ are interchangeable. I didn’t realize this until I was in my English class a few days ago and several of my classmates were confused about the concept. Both ‘then’ and ‘than’ have very specific uses, however, so the goal of this Write on Wednesday will look to clarify that misconception.
'Then is used to show the passage of time. For example: "He picked up the kitchen knife then chopped the onion."
'Than' is used to show a comparison. For example: "I like apples more than oranges."
This is a common mistake that is easily fixed and, when done correctly, allows the writer to sound more mature throughout their piece. So when you're in a position to use one or the other, think back to today's Write On Wednesday and get your grammar great! *GC