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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Grammar Matters: Than vs Then

I have been thinking about common grammar errors that people make and when it comes to mind, I plan to give short, one-subject lessons.

One error I see very often is the confusing of than and then. Mostly I have seen then used for than.


Incorrect: I liked that better then any of the others.
Correct: I liked that better than any of the others.

Than is a comparison word:
Higher than a kite.
Deeper than the sea.
Mightier than the wind.

Then is dealing with time and order:
I will fly my kite, then I will take my boat out on the sea.
The disciples were afraid of the storm on the Galilee, then Jesus woke up and they discovered He was mightier than the wind.

The only way a person is going to untangle these in his mind is to be purposeful and think about what he is saying. Any person who gets these right has done exactly that at some point in life, and now it is second nature.

3 comments:

Kim said...

You go, girl!

Matt said...

I agree about the second nature part. I was never taught many of the rules of grammar, or at least I do not specifically remember many of them. But I believe many of them are second nature because of the extensive reading I have done.

Do you know what is worse? Confusing our and are. I've seen it to often! Sorry I mean too often...or was it two often? ;-)

Becky, slave of Christ said...

Thanks, Kim. Another area we agree on. :)

Matt: I have noticed that you do well. Your reading has obviously helped you. I will get to those too often misused words in lesson number two.