?There are tons of words in the English language that are similar but not the same and I’ve been creating a whole lot of lessons about them lately, particularly some of the really confusing ones.
Now you can check out all of the ones I’ve already made in that playlist right up there but today we’re going to focus on two words that are often confused and misused, ‘then’ and ‘than’.上海助孕机构
Now I’m Emma from mmmEnglish and if these two words confuse you, then this lesson is for you and even if you think that you know what they mean and how to use them correctly, it’s worth just sticking around to check.
I’ll explain how they’re used in English, how they’re pronounced, and of course we’ll practise with a little quiz at the end to make sure that everything you learned during the lesson has stuck.
And remember that all of my lessons have subtitles or captions and you can turn them on by clicking that settings button just down there.
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To start this lesson, I want to make something really clear.
Than and then are not the same words even though they look similar and they sound quite similar, they have different meanings and uses.
And I have to admit that these two words had me fooled for a long time at school.
Through school, I was forever using the wrong word and I was getting marked incorrect by my teachers all the time. It took years for me to remember.
And part of the problem is that these words sound quite similar. They both use the voiced /th/ sound.
And we can hear a little difference in the vowel sound when these words are stressed in a sentence and sometimes they are /ean/.
The /a/ vowel sound, /ean/. And /e?n/.
The /?/ vowel sound, /e?n/.
But actually, most of the time, these words are unstressed and then they sound really similar because both of those vowels sounds reduce down to the schwa sound.
So it sounds like then, then. Then we can’t hear any difference at all.
Now the closest that I ever came to a rule for this was than with an A is used for comparisons and then with an E is used for time.
It helped me a little in the end so if you find it helpful to try and remember that rule, especially to use those words correctly in sentences, then go ahead.
Now let’s go a little deeper and I think we’ll start with than because there’s only one basic definition and use for than. So than is a conjunction and we use it to make comparisons.
So when we’re highlighting the difference between two separate things. I’m taller than my sister.
Your phone gets a better signal than mine.
Do you think that pasta is more filling than salad?
Notice that than is usually used with an adjective.
It’s used to say that something is more or less than something else, taller than, better than, more filling than.
Right? Now another common comparison phrase also uses than and that’s rather than.
I’d rather ride than walk, or I’d rather not go than wear that dress.
Rather is just another type of comparison.
It’s like saying I prefer to do one thing more than the other. And with rather, you’ll often see than.
Now finally, you’ll also hear than used in quite a few fixed expressions and common phrases. I guess it’s better late than never.
I’d like to go home sooner rather than later. Finding our way is easier said than done!
So did you hear in all of those fixed expressions how than was pronounced? It was reduced, it was short and low in pitch. It’s 上海助孕an unstressed word, than, than, than. Right?
So I want you to practise them out loud with me, better late than never, sooner rather than later, easier said than done.