A student who was writing a business e-mail asked me about the usage of than and then and when to use them. It’s basically pretty simple, but if you are crazy about grammar and want to go deeper, there are lots of explanations on Internet. I’ll just give you my simple one.
Than is a conjunction and is almost always used to make comparisons between two things. Example: The U.S. receives more illegal immigrants from Mexico than from any other country. In this sentence, than shows a simple comparison.
Then is mostly used as an adverb, and usually refers to time. Example: The Native Americans had no immigration laws when the first immigrants arrived from Europe in 1607, but then, in 1790, the immigrants themselves passed the first immigration law. In this sentence, then shows an order in time.
But once in awhile then is used as an adjective. Example: In 2012, then president Barack Obama announced the implementation of DACA, an immigration policy for the children of immigrants who were brought to the USA illegally as children. In this sentence, then means at that time and it is a concise and rather more sophisticated way to say “ex” or “former”.
Now try a few for practice:
President Obama’s administration deported more undocumented immigrants
the current president claims.
As a matter of fact, his administration deported more illegal immigrants
the sum of all the presidents of the 20th century.
Believe it or not, unhappy immigrant advocates sometimes used to call
President Obama “Deporter-in-Chief”.
The American senate had been arguing about The DREAM Act since 2001, but President Obama figured that if it hadn’t been passed by
, it was doubtful that it would be passed during his administration because of derisive politics.
The Dream Act would have been to protect minors with conditional residency and
, if they qualified, they would have been given permanent residency.
, in 2012, President Obama instituted DACA by way of an executive order, and he called it a temporary stopgap to give relief and hope to talented, driven, patriotic young people.
Young immigrants think the Dream Act would have been better
DACA because it was intended to eventually lead to citizenship.
The current president rescinded DACA in September, 2017, but
in January 2018 federal courts blocked his decision and DREAMERS, DACA recipients, senators, congresswomen, congressmen, governors, educators, military officers and news commentators have been arguing about this ever since.
This vocabulary will mostly be about present-day vocabulary. That means words that are being used – or overly used – in the news, advertising or in popular music.
Some words are easy to understand in context. For example, Donald Trump uses the word tremendous frequently. It can mean very large, like an elephant, but he never talks about elephants and their plights. He uses it to mean very important, and he uses it a lot. He likes to use it not only as an adjective, but also as an adverb and sometimes even as a noun. For example, he claims he has tremendous celebrity status, and that was before he became president. Trump also uses the adverb tremendously, especially during his presidential campaign. “I’ll be reducing taxes tremendously from 35 percent to 15 percent”. There is also a noun that is rooted in tremendous, tremendousness, and it can be used to describe the degree that Trump admires Russia and Vladimir Putin, he believes in the tremendousness of both. For the sake of Planet Earth, we hope that Trump will not prove to be an untremendous (adjective) leader.
Betsy was the my English teacher in Uberaba, a long time ago…. An excellent teacher, a wonderful human-being. She gave me the nickname I gladly adopted ever since. We became close friends and we are still close – in our hearts.
I have known Betsy for a long time, and in all these years I have learned so much from her… not just English, but from her vast experience as a teacher and as a person. Being an excellent teacher is not just about knowing your subject perfectly (which is of course the case since English is her first language) but also about loving to learn and to relate to people from all kinds of backgrounds and ages. I had as much fun in her classes as a nerdy Star Wars / Elvis teen fan as I do now as busy working grown up!
A Betsy é uma pessoa muito cativante e uma professora genial. Nós nos conhecemos há bastante tempo, quando eu estava começando a aprender inglês. Eu sempre admirei o jeito divertido que ela tem de ensinar. Ela é uma das pessoas mais antenadas que eu conheço e tem uma cultura geral impressionante. Adoro os textos personalizados que ela cria, o que faz com que as aulas sejam sempre surpreendentes. Eu simplesmente adoro as nossas aulas! Me sinto privilegiada.
A Betsy é muito mais que uma professora de inglês. É uma conselheira, humorista, terapeuta, amiga! Tem uma qualidade que me encanta: a Curiosidade. Se interessa por tudo! E mais do que isso, procura se inteirar daquilo de novo que aprendeu e acaba te ensinando outro ponto de vista mais interessante sobre aquilo. Está sempre antenada ao que ocorre no Mundo e no Brasil. O melhor de tudo, é que passa todo o seu conhecimento com uma leveza e um humor fora do comum. Estar com a Betsy é muito bom. Acompanhar suas publicações online, vai ser melhor ainda!