Then vs Than and Good vs Well – two sets of words that seem to confuse many people. Making the mistake of using one of these words in the wrong situation can be embarrassing, especially since the rules pertaining to these words are relatively simple. Here are some simple tricks that you can learn so that you don’t have to make unnecessary errors in the future:
Than vs. Then:
It can be very confusing when it comes to correctly using the words “then” or “than”. Although these words appear to be identical, they actually have very different grammatical functions:
“Then” is a word that is primarily used to situate events in time:
- I ordered my coffee and then went to sit down
- Look at his high school photograph. He was thinner then.
“Than” is a comparative tool. It is used to make distinction and classifications:
- The Box Jelly is more poisonous than any other ocean creature.
- The Harry Potter book series was better than the movies.
Once one remembers that “than” is only used for comparisons, they will be less likely to confuse these two words.
Good vs. Well:
“I learned how to speak English good.” This sentence is commonly used in comedy sketches because of its obvious irony. For those of you who don’t get the joke, this is definitely a lesson that you should pay close attention to. There is a big difference between the words “Good” and “Well”, and confusing the two is a grammatical error that you can’t afford to make.
“Good” is an Adjective. It is used to modify nouns. For example:
- I am in a good mood
- That movie was good
- He is good a public speaking
“Well”, on the other hand, is an adverb that describes a verb. For example:
- They are getting along well
- She sings well
- That business plan is well-developed