What’s the difference? How to use “THAN” and “THEN”

What is the difference between “than” and “then”?

We use “than” when we compare two things.

  • An elephant is bigger than a mouse.
  • A mouse is smaller than an elephant.than then big-little-large-small-comparatives-adjectives-elephant-mouse-english-esl-grammar-vocabulary

In contrast, we use “then” to talk about time.

than then ice-cream-friends-eat-food-man-woman-adults-talking-speaking-conversation-date-dating-english-eat-esl-vocabulary-verbs-action

A: Let’s get some ice cream later.

B: Sure. When?

A: How about 3:00?

B: Okay. See you then.

We also use “then” to mean “next” or “after that.”

than then construction-building-build-women-workers-house-action-verb-esl-english-vocabulary

  • First, they designed the house. Then, they built it.
  • First, they prepared the foundation. Then, they framed the house.

Native speakers also use “then” conversationally to mean “if that’s true.”

then than fight-men-people-argument-violent-smoking-cigarette-blood-strong-verb-action-esl-english

A: You looking for a fight?

B: No.

A: Stop staring at me then.

B: Sorry.

A: I beat you. I’m the winner.

B: No, you aren’t!

A: No? Then stand up and fight!

than then women-ladies-girls-female-dating-date-couple-smile-smiling-talk-to-english-esl-verb

A: Those girls are beautiful.

B: Then why don’t you ask one for her number?

A: Because the blonde is dating my best friend.

B: Ask the brunette then.