English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

"If a size '2' is beautiful, than my size '22' must be glorious."

I believe the word "then" should've been used instead of "than". Correct?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Mitch, J.R., Robusto, Matt E. Эллен, RegDwigнt Apr 27 '12 at 11:52

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Where did you get this from? Yes, you're correct. General reference. – J.R. Apr 27 '12 at 11:28
From a picture of a woman holding up a sign saying this quote – Dan B Apr 27 '12 at 11:30

You are right of course.

Then is used to demonstrate a sequence:

Then has numerous meanings:
1. At that point in time, e.g.: I wasn't ready then.
2. Next, afterward, e.g.: Do your homework and then go to bed
3. In addition, also, on top of that, e.g.: It cost $5,000, and then there's tax too
4. In that case, therefore (often with "if"), e.g.: If you want to go, then you'll have to finish your homework.

Meaning 4 would apply to "then" in the O.P.'s quote.

Than is used in a comparison:

Unlike then, than is not used to indicate a sequence, but in comparative statements.

E.g.: Tom is smarter than Bill.

Sources: elearningenglish and grammartips

share|improve this answer
Well, one could quibble that "than" CAN be related to time. Like you could write, "Al arrived later than Mary." The point is that it's used to identify the "target" of a comparison. – Jay Apr 27 '12 at 13:56
@Jay: In that case, you could use "then" in a comparison related sentence as well: We first compared length, then we compared size. – Terry Apr 27 '12 at 14:26
Ironically, by talking about time vs. comparisons, the error would be easy to make. After all, aren't we "comparing" a Size 2 with a Size 22? No, instead we're drawing a conclusion, so then is used. (I've edited the answer to remove the "time" requirement for then.) – J.R. Apr 27 '12 at 15:09

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.