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Then and Than Usage


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#1 GaryLShelton

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 07:10 PM

A lot of people confuse the two words "then" and "than". It's somewhat easy to understand, especially for those not born to English, but it's a bit of a bug in the craw for a few of us nerdy grammar types. Anyway, maybe the following will help clarify the two words.

"Then" is an adverb word that contains the element of time. A help in remembering this is that both "then" and time have an "e". Then I will go to the store. Do this, then that. Please come home then. Plus there's the famous "If/then" statements. So especially note this, if you see "if" early in the sentence, the proper word to follow will usually be "then". Note that time is the essential element here as well. If you run four laps, then you may quit. (WHEN may you quit?) If you beat Nortrom in the semis, then you will play in the championship. (WHEN will you play in the championship?)

On the other hand "than" is a conjunction word that serves predominantly in comparisons to introduce the second thing being compared. This is greater than that. You are taller than him. You are a better player than me.

Remember:

If your intent is to use a conditional "if/then" sentence, or if your idea involves somehow time, use THEN.

If your intent is to compare two or more things, use THAN. ;)
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#2 Nortrom

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 07:48 PM

Their , there and they're are common mistakes too. Same for was / were.


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#3 Sgt. Blkdog

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 07:56 PM

Let me see if I got this right....

 

Gary, other THAN the time you were dreaming, you have never beaten Nortrom.

 

Gary, after defeating Nortrom, you THEN woke up.... from a dream.


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Wuf!


#4 Unladen Swallow

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 08:02 PM

Let me see if I got this right....
 
Gary, other THAN the time you were dreaming, you have never beaten Nortrom.
 
Gary, after defeating Nortrom, you THEN woke up.... from a dream.


That's right!!

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#5 rgillis783

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Posted 13 March 2018 - 08:48 PM

English is my native language yet I feel like an outta  towna- yes you all would have huge issue with my accent ! Y'all would make great English teachers. almost forgot to capitalize e/E for English lang. 



#6 DarthRemark

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 12:41 AM

Ok, but what does this have to do with Trump, religion or music?



#7 Fairway

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:39 AM

Ok, but what does this have to do with Trump, religion or music?

Persumably this is what Gary calls fun, lol.


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#8 Fairway

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 01:45 AM

Their , there and they're are common mistakes too. Same for was / were.

Their is possessive and plural (their house, substituting for the family's house)

There denotes location (over there/there was the site of the crash)

They're is a contraction of "They are". 

 

"Their brand new blue car crashed into the red car over there, and they're very sad.


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#9 Napoleon 1er

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 11:59 AM

...english is i think the only language where all vowals are pronounced the same like:
a in image
e in be
i in silk
o in women
u in business
y in scary

So why do they need 6 vowals when 1 would be sufficient?😀

Edited by Napoleon 1er, 14 March 2018 - 11:59 AM.

If you don't know where you go ... you have a lot of chance to arrive elsewhere ...

#10 Nortrom

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 12:30 PM

Their is possessive and plural (their house, substituting for the family's house)

There denotes location (over there/there was the site of the crash)

They're is a contraction of "They are". 

 

"Their brand new blue car crashed into the red car over there, and they're very sad.

Yes I am aware and often find myself correcting people who live in the UK / US and it annoys them :)


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#11 rgillis783

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:09 PM

I wanted to offer something clever to add  but could not find any one thing. I offer this cut and paste instead

 

                    

Common examples of homophones

Below, we introduce you to some of the most common homophones – those that you’re likely to meet with in either day-to-day conversation or in your academic work. There are too many to include all of them, but these examples should at least help you with some of them and stand as a warning that the English language has plenty of pitfalls for you to be aware of!

 

To, two, too

Lots of native English-speakers get confused about this one. Luckily, though, these three words have very different uses, and the examples below should help you remember them.

To – used in the infinitive form of a verb, such as “to walk”, and also to mean “towards”.

Too – this means “as well” or “also”; for example, “me too”.

Two – this is the number; for example, “two days ago”.

 

There, their, they’re

Again, even native English-speakers get this one wrong, so don’t beat yourself up if you’re struggling with it!

There – this refers to a place that is not here; for instance, “over there”. It can also be used to state something, such as “There is an argument to suggest…”, or (in a slightly old-fashioned way) to comfort someone: “There there, it will be alright.”

Their – this indicates possession: something belonging to them. For example, “we could use their boat”.

They’re – this is a shortening of “they are”. For example, “They’re going to be here at 12pm”.

 

Your/you’re

This has to be one of the most commonly confused aspects of the English language, and the fact that so many people get it wrong is a pet hate of every grammar purist in the UK. If you can master the difference, you’ll be doing better than a lot of Brits!

Your – this is the second person possessive form, indicating something belonging to you. For example, “This is your decision.”

You’re – short for “you are”, as in “You’re amazing.”

Bonus: Yore – you’re not very likely to come across this one, but it’s an old-fashioned way of referring to a time long ago. For example, “In the days of yore” means a similar thing to “In olden times”.

 

By/buy/bye

Another one on the long list of commonly confused words, these three are easily differentiated with some examples.

By – this preposition refers to something beside, near or through. For example, “There’s an ice cream van over there by that tree.”

Buy – this is a verb meaning to purchase something. For instance, “let’s go and buy a car.”

Bye – short for “goodbye”, this is an expression used to bid someone farewell. Real grammar sticklers would probably insist on using an apostrophe at the beginning to indicate the absence of the word “good” – that is, “’bye” – but this is old-fashioned, so you don’t need to include one.

 

Stationary/stationery

One letter makes a big difference with these two, completely altering the meaning.

Stationary – this word is used to describe something that is motionless (not moving). For example, “the cars were stationary in the traffic jam.”

Stationery – pens, pencils and other things you write with or on, for use in the office or when studying.

 

Compliment/complement

The adjective forms of these two words add an extra layer of complexity for you to contend with.

Compliment – this is a nice thing you say to someone to flatter them, for example, “You look nice today.” The adjective of this is “complimentary”, which has two meanings. It can refer to something expressing praise – such as “He was most complimentary, saying how pretty I looked.” But just to add to the confusion, “complimentary” can also mean “free of charge”. For example, “the airline provided complimentary drinks for those delayed”.

Complement – this is something that goes well with something else. For example, “the dress complemented the colour of her hair.” The adjective form is “complementary”, meaning things that go together, used as follows: “The two of them provided complementary skills; he was good at writing, while she was good at sales.”

 

Brake/break

Same letters, different order – and that makes all the difference!

Brake – this spelling refers to the brakes on a car or other vehicle, and in a wider sense to slowing down. For example, “He applied the brakes to slow the car down.”

Break – confusingly, this spelling this has several meanings.

As a verb, “to break” means to separate something into parts. For example, “I’m going to break this chocolate bar into three so we can share.”

○ As a noun, it can be used to signify a pause or stop, such as “a break in the schedule”, or you can “take a break”, meaning have some time off.

○ You can also use the word to describe the consequences of the verb – when you “break” something, it is “broken” and the site of the separation can be referred to as “the break”. For instance, “He broke his leg, but the break is mending.”

 

Coarse/course

If you’ve been browsing our website, you’ll probably know at least one of these meanings! Here are all the possible definitions.

Course – this has many meanings.

○ A course is what we offer here at Oxford Royale Academy – a programme of educational study.

○ “Of course” means “naturally”. For example, “Would you like a chocolate?” – “Of course!”

○ It can also mean “direction”; for instance, an “unexpected course of events” describes events unfolding in an unanticipated direction. You could also say, “I don’t know what course of action to take”, or “The plane took a northerly course.”

○ In sport, it describes an area of land or water set aside for the purpose of a particular activity, such as a “golf course”, “water skiing course” or “cross country course”.

○ Another context in which you might hear this word is to describe parts of a meal. For instance, the “main course” is the most substantial part of the meal.

○ Less often heard is the use of this word to describe hunting with dogs, such as “hare coursing”.

○ As a verb, “to course” refers to the movement of liquid, such as “water coursing through a channel”.

Coarse – this word is used to describe things that are rough or crude. This could be rough in texture – as in “sandpaper is very coarse” – or to describe language, such as “His humour was very coarse.”

 

Here/hear

You’ll find a cunning way to remember the difference between these two under the definition for “hear” below.

Here – this refers to something being in one’s current location – for example, “There is a strange smell here”. You can also use it when introducing something, such as “Here is something I know you’ll like.”

Hear – this means to detect a sound. If it helps you remember it, consider the fact that the word “hear” contains the word “ear”! You can also say “Hear, hear” to indicate that you agree with someone. This bizarre phrase is a shortened form of a 17th century phrase used in Parliament, “Hear him, hear

 

Peace/piece

John Lennon famously sang “Give peace a chance”. Make sure you don’t upset Beatles fans by getting the spelling right!

Peace – this is the absence of war, as referred to by Lennon in 1969. The word also refers more generally to a feeling of contentment, for example “The woods were very peaceful.”

Piece – spelled this way, the word means a unit or portion of something, such as “a piece of cake”. To “say your piece” means to state your opinion about something, while “giving someone a piece of your mind” means to tell them – usually in anger – exactly what you think of a situation.

 

Whole/hole

Two words with almost entirely opposite meanings. The W is silent, because the English language likes to confuse us with apparently unnecessary silent letters.

Whole – this means “complete” or “entire” – used as in “the whole story”.

Hole – a “hole” indicates a lack of something, as in an opening. For example, the hole in a ring doughnut is the missing bit in the middle, while a “Black Hole” is an invisible area of space that appears to have nothing in it, because its gravity prevents even light from escaping.

 

Stare/stair

These identical-sounding words both derive from Old English words with Germanic origins.

Stare – the verb “to stare” refers to the act of gazing intently at something. As a noun, it refers to the look itself – for example “a long, cold stare”.

Stair – this refers to a single step, or one of a number of steps, used to connect two different levels, with variants including “staircase” (the complete set of steps), “stairway” (the steps and their surrounding walls), “stairwell” (the shaft occupied by the staircase), “downstairs” (the bottom level) and “upstairs” (the upper level).

 

Know/no

As this example illustrates, it’s amazing how much difference it makes to put unlikely letters at the beginning and end of a word.

Know – “to know” means “to be aware of something”; for example, “I know he is afraid.” The K at the beginning is one of a number of instances in the English language of a silent K, so it’s pronounced in exactly the same way as “no” – even though if you take the K off, you have the word “now”, which is pronounced in a way that rhymes it with “how”. Just another example of unexpected exceptions to English language rules!

No – the opposite of “yes”, used to indicate the negative. Bizarrely, “no.” – with a full stop after it – is also used to abbreviate the word “number”. For example, “No. of pages: 150.”

 

Seven meanings sounding like “raise”

To finish, this is the seven-variant multinym we mentioned earlier. Don’t worry – you’re not likely to come across many of these, but we thought you might like to see it to give you an idea of just how complex the English language can be!

Raise – to lift something up

Rays – sunbeams

Rase – to erase something

Raze – to knock something down

Rehs – sodium salt mixtures

Réis – plural of real (the currency of Portugal and Brazil)

Res – plural of re, as in the musical scale (doh re mi, for fans of The Sound of Music)

 

If you’ve enjoyed this introduction to some of the quirks of the English language and you’d like to advance your English skills further by learning then read a book sometime : )


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#12 Unladen Swallow

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Posted 14 March 2018 - 07:24 PM

...english is i think the only language where all vowals are pronounced the same like:
a in image
e in be
i in silk
o in women
u in business
y in scary

So why do they need 6 vowals when 1 would be sufficient?

 

There is a difference between silk and be for me. The pronunciation of 'be' is longer. I will suggest "benign" as an example for the letter 'e' which uses the same sound

 

You forgot to mention that the same letters have multiple pronunciations. 

 

Take the letter 'A'. There's different 'a' sounds for about, map, water, father, cake


Edited by Unladen Swallow, 14 March 2018 - 07:31 PM.

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#13 Sgt. Blkdog

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Posted 15 March 2018 - 12:45 AM


 

Whole/hole

Two words with almost entirely opposite meanings. The W is silent, because the English language likes to confuse us with apparently unnecessary silent letters.

Whole – this means “complete” or “entire” – used as in “the whole story”.

Hole – a “hole” indicates a lack of something, as in an opening. For example, the hole in a ring doughnut is the missing bit in the middle, while a “Black Hole” is an invisible area of space that appears to have nothing in it, because its gravity prevents even light from escaping.

 

The difference between Hole and Whole in song...  https://www.youtube....h?v=MzoldDKdNj4


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Wuf!


#14 rgillis783

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Posted 24 March 2018 - 02:30 PM

https://www.reddit.c...lice_brutality/

 

found it did not type it : )






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