Grammar Wednesday!!!

This post marks the first Grammar Wednesday! Thank you to all of you who encouraged this idea – and thanks to Blue for coming up with it!

Today, we’re going to clear up the question of then vs. than. SassieCassie mentioned it as a question she had, and I see it misused ALL the time in papers written for me by students, so here is an explanation of how to use the words correctly:

THAN is a conjunction used to compare things:

She is older than her sister.

“Uh, “Richard David Kimble, vascular surgeon…” what the hell is that?” “Somebody that makes more money than you.”

THEN is an adverb that describes time and time relationships:

I’ve got to run to the grocery store, then hurry home before the kids get off the bus.

Put on your snowpants first, then pull on your boots.

Does that help?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Grammar Wednesday!!!

  1. claudia

    I’m really enjoying the grammer lessons! Can we work on my age old nenesis’ “affect” and “effect”? I read thev definitions and get the primary ones,but get stumped on the more subtle ones since there’s this whole noun/verb use in both.

  2. If you can get me to understand affect vs. effect I will buy you the moon (or perhaps something you actually want) it’s really not possible.

    As for the then/than issue, it makes me want to give the WHOLE WORLD elocution lessons because it’s lazy mumbling that got this shit storm started.

  3. Well, then! GUESS what NEXT Wednesday’s lesson will be!!!

  4. Effect vs. affect is the bane of the existence of many, many of the students I have encountered and SO many others. I LOVE playing around with this one. Fire it up. Chili Woman!

  5. I think you’ll like this image by, I think, ladytalon at livejournal: http://www.livejournal.com/userpic/35024419/1201676

    I see it allll over livejournal; it is one of the most popular icons because it’s everywhere on the communities I regularly read. Of course, those communities are mostly about books and grammar, so I guess it makes sense. But its popularity gives me hope for the internet!

  6. I’ll try the image again since it didn’t seem to work the first time. Here? Hmm.

  7. Oh feather, can you teach me to put a link in a comment?

  8. I’d like to see a who/whom, proper use of semicolons, proper use of punctuation in general, rules about double contractions, rules for numbers in text. A poorly constructed sentence, but it will have to do.

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