Then v. Than
Based on FaceBook posts and emails I receive, there seems to be great confusion about when to use then and when to write than. As you will soon see, however, the distinction between the two words is greater than the one letter that separates them. And once we understand the distinction, we will use the words right every time.
Than is used for making comparisons.
She is no more brilliant than a wood ant.
Time slips by faster than a 12 year-old boy up to mischief.
I'd rather own a pony than an hissing cockroach.
Then is an expression of time or of order of events.
Go to the Dixie Queen, then turn left.
When it rains, the fun will end; we won't go home until then.
First, peel the banana. Next, hold it firmly below the drape of the peels. Then, take a bite.
It wasn't until then, when we saw the shark fin, that we were scared.
If this post proves I'm smarter than a 5th grader, then leave a comment. Even if it doesn't, leave a comment :)
This post is brought to you by the April A to Z Blog Challenge. Check back all through April for daily discussions of writing conventions.