“Through” vs. “Threw”: How To Tell The Difference

dark blue text "through vs threw" on light blue background

The words threw and through are homophones—they have the exact same pronunciation. But they’re used very differently.

In this article, we’ll explain the differences between threw and through, cover how and when both are used, and provide some examples that show how they’re typically used in sentences.

Quick summary

Threw is the past tense form of the irregular verb throw, as in She threw the ball farther than me. The word through has many different senses and can be used as a preposition (They drove through the tunnel), an adverb (We doubted Jeff, but he came through in the end), and an adjective (After this latest scandal, his days of being a politician are through).

When to use threw or through

Threw is the past tense of the irregular “verb” throw, which has multiple meanings.

For example:

  • He threw the ball as far as he could.
  • She threw a big party last year.
  • I threw my back out again.

Through is a word with several different meanings and functions: it can be used as a preposition, adverb, or adjective.

For example:

  • The truck drove through the tunnel. (preposition)
  • We had a lot of close calls, but we managed to pull through. (adverb)
  • I saw a big spider in the shed, so I am through with going in there. (adjective)

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Despite all of its different meanings, the word through is never used as a verb. Remembering this can help you differentiate between threw and through so you don’t mix them up.

The informal shortening thru is sometimes used as an alternative spelling of through, such as in the term drive-thru.

Brush up on homonyms, homophones, and homographs here.

Examples of threw and through used in a sentence

Let’s finish things up by looking through a set of examples that show how threw and through are typically used in sentences.

  • The clowns threw pies at each other.
  • We ran through the woods to get back to the campsite.
  • She threw the old papers in the garbage.
  • When I was a kid, I accidentally threw a rock through my bedroom window—from the inside.
  • As soon as I threw the last pitch, I knew my time as a pitcher was through.

Read about another set of commonly confused homonyms with "peal" vs. "peel."

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