Then

You may have encountered the word 'then' many times. In this lesson, we will discover all about this word and learn when and how to use it.

How to Use 'Then' in English Grammar

If you wonder when and how to use the word 'then', you can study this lesson.

Functions of 'Then'

1. 'Then' as an Adverb

Use

'Then' as an adverb is used to modify a sentence, to describe a verb. It can be used in many situations:

  • 'Then' as an adverb is used to refer to a particular time in the past.

I was happy then and knew what I wanted.

past

Back then, She was my wife.

  • 'Then' can be used to indicate what happened or happens next or what should be happened next.

He told me the truth. Then he went away.

The majority of people demand what we make, and then they sell it to others.

Cut the carrot, then boil the water.

  • 'Then' is used in a a sentence starting with 'if'. The first clause describes a possible situation, and 'then' introduces the result of the situation. Remember that it is okay to leave out then.

If we know the answer, then we should tell everyone.

If we know the answer, then we should tell everyone. ✓

If you were there, then you should tell me what happened.

  • 'Then' can be used after words like 'all right, OK, now, well, etc.' to put an emphasis on the sentence.

All righ then, we can go.

Or 'ok then.'

Well then, let's find the key.

  • 'Then' can be used at the end of a topic or at the end of a conversation for more emphasis.

Teacher : Did you work it out?

Student : Yes, it's setteled then.

Tina : I'll see you at 10.

Rose : 10 o'clock then.

A : You know what happened, don't you?

B : Do I have to know, then?

Position in a Sentence

'Then' as an adverb is placed anywhere in the sentence. It can be in the middle of the sentence, at the end, or at the begining of it.

Well then, let's find the key.

He told me the truth. Then he went away.

Well then.

2. 'Then' as a Noun

Use

'Then' as a noun is used after prepositions like 'since, until, up, from, etc.' to indicate 'that time.'

Since then, I've been sad.

I'll call you until then.

Position in a Sentence

'Then' as a noun comes after prepositions and it indicates a specific time. Look:

Since then, I've been sad.

I should get there before then.

3. 'Then' as an Adjective

Use

'Then' as an adjective is used to indicate that something exists at or belongs to a time mentioned. In other words, it describes a noun. Look:

The project was done by the then mayor.

ancient mayor

He was known in the then second world war.

Position in a Sentence

'Then' as an adjective is always used before nouns and takes articles when needed. For example:

The project was done by the then mayor.

He was known in the then second world war.

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