Writing tip: Then or than?

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By: 
Theresa Bell

Are you unsure about when to use then or than in your writing? Remember that then indicates a shift in time (e.g., I came to work, and then I went home), whereas than indicates a comparison (e.g., My dog would rather run off-leash than walk next to me). For example: 

  • My grades are better this semester than last semester.
  • We're having dinner first and then we'll watch the movie.
  • Her choice of ice cream seemed unusual, but then I remembered that she likes chocolate better than vanilla.

Please let me know if you have any questions about this tip or any other writing-related matter (writingcentre@royalroads.ca).
 
Theresa Bell
Writing centre co-ordinator