How do you use "then" in a sentence?


Then is a coordinating conjunction. When used properly, it will work in several different places in a sentence. Then can also be used at the end of a sentence.

A writer is using "then" properly as a coordinating conjunction if the word can be moved around in the sentence, but the sentence still retains its meaning. For example, "Joe walked Fido, then he cleaned his house," can be rearranged to "Joe walked Fido, he then cleaned his house."

Then can also be used at the end of a sentence, to make writing sound more colloquial. Using then at the end of a sentence can show dismay, "Well, I guess you won't change your mind then," or excitement or impatience, "Well let's get going then!" This should be avoided in formal writing, however.

Writers should also be careful not to confuse then and than. Than is used for a comparison, such as "10 is smaller than 20." Then is conditional, "If 10 is smaller than 20, then 20 is larger than 10." In some parts of the United States this can be problematic because the words then and than are pronounced in a similar fashion, and a person might not decipher one word from the other when spoken.

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1 Additional Answer Answer for: using then in a sentence
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He fixed it, then left.
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