It is very common to come across the phrases “other than” & “other then”. But which is correct? Then and than are two of the most commonly confused words in the English language today. The words lots or lot’s are another common example! Luckily, this article will break down the difference between other than or other then so that you never make this simple spelling mistake again!
Which Is Correct: Other Then or Other Than?
Takeaway: The correct phrase to use is “other than”. This can be used correctly as either a preposition or conjunction, like the words but vs yet. This phrase is used to indicate an exception to something.
When someone uses the words “other than” as a preposition, they are trying to introduce or communicate an exception.
- Other than Mark, everyone made it to the game on time.
When someone uses the words “other than” as a conjunction, like the words incase or in case, they are using it like the word but. These are both common phrases used in the English language.
- I remembered everything on my shopping list other than the oranges!
When To Use Other Than
Generally speaking, the phrase “other than” is used to introduce a new topic or add more information to a sentence. The words nevertheless and nonetheless are also used in a similar fashion. Most people use these words when they want to contrast or compare something.
Here are a few examples of how to use “other than” in a sentence:
- Other than doing my homework, I have no plans tonight.
- There is no way I will finish this project, other than asking for help.
- I don’t care about fancy cars other than Mercedez.
The following examples demonstrate different ways that you can use this phrase in your daily writing and conversations. Just like we saw when analyzing the difference between a vagrant and a hobo, spelling makes a huge difference!
- “Other than going to the grocery store, I don’t have any plans for the weekend.”
- “We can’t think of any other solution to the problem other than asking for help.”
- “I don’t have any allergies, other than to peanuts.”
- “The team has been playing well, other than a few mistakes in the last game.”
- “Other than the fact that it’s cold outside, I don’t mind the winter.”
- “We have no other options for dinner, other than ordering pizza again.”
- “Other than missing you, everything is going well here.”
When To Use Other Then
“Other then” is not a word and should NOT be used in your writing! As we have already mentioned, this is a spelling mistake.
As you can see from Google’s Ngram, most writers fully understand this grammar rule. In fact, it is very rare for writers to make this spelling mistake!
Then vs Than
The words “then” and “than” are commonly confused by new and experienced writers alike. This is because they are similar in both spelling and pronunciation as these words are phonetically related.
“Then” is used to refer to a specific time or point in the past, future, or present. Here are some examples:
- “First I went to the mall, then I stopped to get some gas.”
- “First, we will finish the project, then we will celebrate.”
- “Tomorrow, I plan on going out for breakfast then heading to the grocery store.”
“Than” is used to indicate a direct comparison between two people or things. Here are some examples:
- “I am taller than my brother.”
- “This car is more expensive than that one.”
- “I would rather eat pizza than salad.”
The grammar rules for then vs than are very similar to the rules for on the page or in the page. Small spelling changes can make a huge difference.
Takeaway: Then is used to indicate sequence and than is used to make direct comparisons.
Here are some popular phrases containing the words “other than”.
- “Other Than That” – Meaning except for a certain thing.
- “Other Than Me” – Meaning that everyone is doing something except for “me”.
Trick To Remember The Difference
Oftentimes, students understand grammar rules after they are taught. But after a few weeks, they start to forget what they learned. That is why I love using memory tricks to master different rules in the English language.
Try this trick to remember!
- “Other than” is the correct phrase. “Than” contains the letter “A“. Remember that A stands for “acceptable”. This trick will make it much easier to decide between then and than!
Frequently Asked Questions
The correct phrase is “other than.” “Other then” is not a correct phrase in English. Although then and than sound alike, they have different meanings. It does not make grammatical sense to say the phrase “other then”.
“Other then” is not a correct phrase in English and should not be used in any context. “Other than” is the correct phrase to use in most cases. In Middle English, both then and than were considered to be the same word. However, that has changed in modern writing.
“Other then” is not a word and is considered to be grammatically incorrect. The correct phrase is “other than” and is used when introducing an exception.
Some synonyms for “other than” are “apart from,” “aside from,” “besides,” “except,” an “excluding.” You can use these common words in professional settings. If you need a one word substitute, go with “besides”.
The Bottom Line
Now you know the difference between the phrases “other than” and “other then”. Remember, these phrases might sound similar, but they have different meanings. The two words “other” & “then” should not be used together in the same sentence! If you are struggling with this spelling rule, give pro writing aid vs grammarly to make things easy.