The Grammar Belle

Spiffing y'all up, one typo at a time

Then what?

Hey, y’all! Glad you stopped by for a visit.

A dear coworker and loyal TGB reader came to me with this predicament: She can’t ever remember whether to use “then” or “than.” I have a simple way to solve that one. Are you talking about what comes next? Yes? Cool. Look at the word “next.” What vowel does it have? Yep! So its partner is “then.”

No more then/than confusion, y’all.

Or are you talking about something you’d rather do? You guessed it. Since “rather” has an “a,” you should use “than.” Easy as pie filling,* huh?

While I’m on that subject, many of you are OK picking “than” when you need it, but you have trouble with what follows! Here’s a pop quiz:

Trick Question

Both are correct, depending on what you’re meaning to say. Is it “I love you more than he (loves you)” OR “I love you more than (I love) him”? To solve your problem, use one of TGB’s most tried-and-true techniques: Finish the sentence! It’ll tell you the correct word to pick and then you can take out any extra words. Now, after this little lesson, you can proudly proclaim, “I am smarter than they! (“They are those folks who don’t read The Grammar Belle.)

Thanks for reading! I think y’all are better than sliced bread. And the fact that so many of you are following  along makes me happier than a tick on a fat dog.

*I know the saying is “easy as pie.” But have you ever made piecrust? That’s seriously some of the hardest stuff to make on the planet. What goes in it, however, is usually rather easy to make. I prefer to be a bit more realistic, hence “easy as pie filling.”

2 comments on “Then what?

  1. Pingback: A Capital Idea | The Grammar Belle

  2. Pingback: A Year of Grammar Goodies (With Bonus Pop Quiz) | The Grammar Belle

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This entry was posted on September 18, 2012 by in Grammar Dilemmas, Spelling, When Spellcheck Won't Help.

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