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'Other Then' or 'Other Than': Which is Correct?

Shaun Connell
July 7, 2023

Are you wondering whether 'other then' or 'other than' is correct? If so, I can help.

Here is a quick answer: 

  • 'Other then' is not grammatically correct. 
  • 'Other than' is the correct term for saying besides or except something. 

The short answer tells you the grammatically correct term. However, as a writer, you need a deeper understanding. So, to learn the reason 'other than' is proper, read this guide with definitions, examples, pronunciations, and sample sentences.

Which is Correct, 'Other Then' or 'Other Than?'

The correct term is 'other than.' The reason is that then is an adverb, noun, and adjective that refers to time. Than is a conjunction and proposition used to compare or specify a type or kind or to differentiate between two or more objects or kinds.

The term 'other than' is used to exclude something, for example, and 'other then' is a common grammatical error. So, you should not use 'other then.'

One of the reasons people often confuse the two is that then and than are homophones. They sound similar but have different spellings and meanings.

How to Use 'Other Than'

We determined that 'other then' is grammatically incorrect. So, you should not use the term. But how do you know when to use 'other than?'

  • Use 'other than' to state your feelings aside from something you previously said.

For example, you could say:

Other than all of the chaos going on, life has been pretty great. 

  • You can use 'other than' to state something someone did despite something that occurred before.

As an example, you could also say:

Other than the game she lost at the beginning of the year, she has had a perfect record. 

  • Use 'other than' to state that you are open to anything except one option.

For example, I might say:

I am okay with staying anywhere other than that haunted hotel we stayed at last time. 

  • You can also use 'other than' to say that you are not okay with anything except one option.

Here is an example:

I do not want anything other than an SUV. I have to have a bigger vehicle. My car is too small. 

Definition of 'Other Than': What Does 'Other Than' Mean?

The term 'other than' has two words. So, we are going to look at the definitions of each.

Definition of Other

According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, other is an adjective defined as:

  • Left behind or remaining

It can also mean:

  • Every second period, day, year, week, etc.
  • Different from the rest
  • In addition to
  • Occurring recently
  • A difference that invokes fear
  • A former period

Other can also be a noun defined as:

  • Something new or different
  • One or more that remains out of a group of two or more
  • Relating to psychology, an alternate perception of self
  • An outsider or group that is not accepted by the masses

You can also use other as a verb meaning:

  • To exclude someone or something

Or, you can use other as an adverb defined as:

  • Otherwise, when used with than

Synonyms of Other

  • Different
  • Unlike
  • Distinct
  • Variant
  • Individual
  • Strange

Definition of Than

The same defines than as a conjunction that:

  • Acts as a function word used with a comparative adjective or adverb to show inequality
  • Used with an adjective or adverb to display diversity

Than can also be a preposition meaning:

  • In comparison

Synonyms of Than

Than is one of few English words that do not have any synonyms. So, there is no exact alternative to the term 'other than.'

Pronunciation: How to Pronounce 'Other Than'

As a professional writer, it is important to know how to pronounce the words you use correctly. Knowing pronunciation helps many people remember the difference between confusing terms and remember how to spell them correctly.

So, here is a quick pronunciation guide.

  • Use this phonetic spelling to pronounce 'other than':

oth-er than

Sample Sentences Using 'Other Than'

Finally, read these sample sentences using 'other than.' They will give you a better idea of how to use the term in different contexts.

  • Her anonymous blog did not contain any content other than first-person real-life stories written by the blogger.
  • We do not work with anyone other than top professionals. That is how we maintain our reputation for excellence.
  • When he started freelance writing, he did not have any work other than writing an occasional greeting card.
  • We have been to every Disney theme park other than the one in Paris. But we are planning to take a trip there next summer.
  • I have been working here for 12 years, and you are the only person other than Debbie to wish me a happy birthday.
  • Other than an occasional grammar correction, the proofreading editor did not do revisions.
  • You can have anything other than my banned book collection if you will do this favor for me.
  • Please bring someone other than that guy you brought to our last party. He was strange and made the other guests uncomfortable.
  • Other than grammar and writing skills, you need a portfolio of work to start getting entry-level writing jobs.
  • After what happened with my previous accountant, I do not trust anyone other than you to handle my financial affairs.
  • I need a vacation to a remote location. Lately, I haven't been doing anything other than working, and I really need to relax.

Last Look at Whether 'Other Then' or 'Other Than' is Correct

Let's quickly recap whether 'other then' or 'other than' is correct:

  • 'Other then' is a grammar error.
  • 'Other than' is a comparative term used to show a difference or exception. 

Correctly using terms like this one is critical if you are writing a business or formal communication or working as a professional writer. Using incorrect terms can cause you to lose credibility with your audience, even if the information is accurate.

So, if you forget the difference between 'other then' or 'other than,' you can always come back to review this lesson. You can also find many other helpful posts to help you improve your grammar and writing skills, find freelance writing jobs, and stay up-to-date on the latest industry standards and trends.

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Written By:
Shaun Connell
Shaun Connell has spent his entire career either working as a freelance writer or hiring freelance writers for his many successful publications. Shaun has learned the exact tricks of the trade to hire the perfect writer for almost any niche.

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