Then is a word that puts things in order by time, or refers to a moment in time: you get up; then you have breakfast. You're married now; back then, you were single.

The word then can also be used as a consequence, often after the word if. If you watch the kids, then I will clean the house. Don't confuse then with than, which sounds similar. Than is used to compare two things: I like spaghetti better than macaroni and cheese. Then is about time or consequence: you eat dinner, then get dessert. If you're good, then maybe you'll get a big dessert.

Primary Meanings of then

at that time
that time; that moment
at a specific prior time
in that case or as a consequence
Full Definitions of then

adv at that time

“I was young then
“prices were lower back then
“science as it was then taught”

adv subsequently or soon afterward (often used as sentence connectors)

then he left”
“go left first, then right”
“first came lightning, then thunder”
and so, and then, so

n that time; that moment

“we will arrive before then
“we were friends from then on”
Type of:
point, point in time
an instant of time

adj at a specific prior time

“the then president”
earlier than the present time; no longer current

adv in that case or as a consequence

“if he didn't take it, then who did?”
“keep it then if you want to”
“the case, then, is closed”
“you've made up your mind then?”
then you'll be rich”

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