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then

[ then ]
/ ðɛn /
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adverb
adjective
being; being such; existing or being at the time indicated: the then prime minister.
noun
that time: We have not been back since then. Till then, farewell.
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Idioms about then

    but then, but on the other hand: I found their conversation very dull, but then I have different tastes.
    then and there, at that precise time and place; at once; on the spot: I started to pack my things right then and there.Also there and then.

Origin of then

before 900; Middle English then(ne), than(n)e,Old English thonne, thanne, thænne;cf. than; akin to that

synonym study for then

8. See therefore.

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH then

than, then
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

THEN VS. THAN

What’s the difference between then and than?

Then is a very common word that’s used in situations involving what comes next—either in terms of time (as in Just then, the door opened or We saw a movie and then we drove home) or a result (as in If you forget to water the plants, then they will wilt). Than is a very common word used in comparisons, as in She’s a little older than you or This hot sauce is a lot spicier than that one.

Grammatically speaking, then is used as an adverb or adjective, while than is used as a conjunction or preposition.

Perhaps the most common way the two words are confused is when then is used when it should be than, but doing the reverse is also a common mistake.

One way to tell if you’re using the right word is to remember that then is usually used to indicate what comes next, and then and next are both spelled with the letter e.

Here’s an example of then and than used correctly in the same sentence.

Example: If you want to be an expert, then you’ll need more experience than you have now.

Want to learn more? Read the full breakdown of the difference between then and than.

Quiz yourself on then vs. than!

Should then or than be used in the following sentence?

I went to the grocery store, _____ the dry cleaners.

How to use then in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for then

Word Origin for then

Old English thenne; related to Old Saxon, Old High German thanna; see than
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Other Idioms and Phrases with then

then

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.
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