'More Then' or 'More Than': What's the Difference Between the Two?

By Shanea Patterson, updated on January 10, 2023

Are you wondering whether to spell the phrase ‘more then’ or ‘more than’? We can clear that up, plus teach you how to use the correct spelling of the phrase in a sentence.

Need a quick answer? Here it is:

  • ‘More Then’ is ungrammatical and incorrect because ‘then’ refers to a location and isn’t used to compare things the way ‘than’ is.
  • ‘More Than’ is the only correct way to spell the phrase, and it’s a prepositional phrase that means ‘an amount of something that’s greater than another amount.’

You should never use ‘more then’ in your writing.

‘More Than’ or ‘More Then’: What’s the Difference?

As you learned, ‘more then’ is ungrammatical and incorrect. ‘More than’ is the only way to spell the phrase correctly.

You can use ‘more’ and ‘then’ separately in a sentence, but together, they just don’t make sense.

Take a look at an example of how it might work in a sentence:

  • I’d like more eggs, and then I want pancakes.

‘More Then’ vs. ‘More Than’ – Let’s Not Confuse the Spellings

If you can remember the difference between the homophones ‘then’ and ‘than,’ you should have no problem distinguishing between these two phrases.

You might know that ‘than’ is used as a function word to indicate that something is different than something else.

‘Then’ refers to a time that something may or may not occur.

For example:

  • She went to the grocery store and then the gas station.
  • Three o’clock? My meeting starts then. Can’t you reschedule?

Definition and Meaning of ‘More Than’

The Merriam-Webster definition of the phrase is: “to a great degree: very: extremely” and “often in a clause followed by another clause that gives more information or limits the “more than” clause in some way.”

It’s what’s considered an idiom.

An idiom is simply a group of words that have a meaning not completely apparent based on the individual words (e.g., raining cats and dogsseeing the light ).

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce ‘More Than’

Are you wondering how to pronounce the phrase? Here’s a short guide.

  • It’s phonetically pronounced in the following way: MOOR THAHN.
  • It might also sound like: MOR THAHN.

How to Use the Phrase in a Sentence

Now that we know what the idiom means and how to pronounce it let’s look at some examples of how to use it in a sentence.

  • I got more than enough presents this Christmas. My mom went overboard, but I'm glad she did!
  • There are more than enough outfits for the photo shoot this afternoon.
  • That’s more caramel than I wanted on top of my ice cream. I’ll scrape some off.
  • I’m not sure if I can have more than two burgers. I’m already stuffed.
  • I know I deserve a raise more than my co-worker. He’s always late!
  • That’s more than enough syrup on those pancakes, young lady.

Concluding Thoughts on ‘More Than’ and ‘More Then’

To recap, we’ve learned that ‘more then’ is ungrammatical and incorrect and that the only way to spell this phrase correctly would be with ‘then.’ Therefore, you should avoid using this spelling of the phrase.

If you ever get stuck on this, you can always come back for a quick refresher. We’ve got a whole library of content dedicated to explaining confusing words and phrases in the English language.

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Written By:
Shanea Patterson
Shanea Patterson is a writer based in New York and loves writing for brands big and small. She has a master's degree in professional writing from New York University and a bachelor's degree in English from Mercy College.

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