Wondering what the difference is between ‘later than’ and ‘later then’? We’ll cover that in detail in this article, plus you’ll learn how to use both correctly in a sentence.
In short, ‘later than’ is the only acceptable way to use this phrase. You can use ‘later’ and ‘then’ separately, but they’re not typically used together.
We just learned that ‘later than’ is the more common and correct phrase. ‘Later then’ isn’t a correct phrase.
As mentioned above, the words can be used separately but generally aren’t grouped together the way ‘later’ and ‘than’ are.
Let’s dive into the meaning of ‘than’ and ‘then’ so we can better understand why.
The words ‘then’ and ‘than’ are homophones. They sound alike but mean different things.
That explains why ‘later than’ makes sense, but ‘later then’ doesn’t.
This happens because ‘than’ is used to compare one thing with another. And ‘then’ is used as an expression of time.
Therefore, you can say, “Laura was later than Tim.” But you can’t say, “Laura was later then Tim.”
You can say, “Laura arrived at 5 pm. Then, Tim arrived five minutes later.”
We’ll look at sentence examples, but first, let’s define the words/phrases.
According to Merriam-Webster, the definition of ‘later than’ is after a specified time.
For example, if you were trying to express that you arrived someplace after someone else or after a certain time, you’d use the phrase ‘later than.’
Wondering how to pronounce these phrases? Here’s a short guide.
They both sound the same, so they have the same pronunciation.
Now that you know what the phrase means and how to pronounce it let’s see how to use it in a sentence.
To recap, you learned that the only correct phrase of the two is ‘later than.’ That’s because ‘then’ refers to time. Therefore, it wouldn’t make sense to use ‘later then’ in any context – not the way it’s written.
If you ever get stuck on this, don’t be afraid to pop back over for a quick refresher. We’ve also got a ton of other content on other confusing words and phrases you might come across while you’re learning the language. Don’t be afraid to go check it out whenever you need to.