That / than / as
One of the more common errors among English language learners is using than, that, or as correctly. Let’s look at the correct contexts for using these.
That is used as a conjunction to introduce a clause expressing cause or reason, purpose or aim, result or consequence. That is always preceded by a noun when used as a conjunction.
Examples: I need you to return the Ipod that I gave you.
I know somebody that can fix it.
Than is used for making comparisons between things. It is always preceded by a comparative.
Examples: No one is smarter than he is.
He is a lot more talkative than most people.
As is also used for comparing things. However, when the sentence is positive, it expresses equality. Only when the sentence is negative does it express that one thing is more or less than the other.
Examples: The meeting is at the same time as the last one. (same)
This pizza isn’t as good as the one we had last week. (less)
Complete the sentences with the correct word.
1. I’m the same age ________ my brother.
2. Lately he hasn’t been the same person ___________ he used to be.
3. He complains more _________ anyone I know.
4. You need to call the number __________ I gave you.
5. I can eat as much pizza ______ you can.
6. I have the same amount of money ___________ he does.
7. We discussed the same problem __________ we discussed last week.
8. I’m a year older _______ my sister.
9. That was more interesting _______ I expected.
10. You are only as young _____ you feel.
Answers from last week’s tidbit.
1. He returned to the office because he had forgotten his keys.
2. I want to go to the concert to see my favorite musician.
3. Classes were cancelled because of the snow.
4. I went to the class reunion so that I could see all my old classmates.
5. She knows the answer because someone had told her beforehand.
6. They felt better because of the good news.
7. I had to call the doctor because my son didn’t feel well.
8. We had to call a specialist so that the problem could be fixed.
9. We called off the beach party because of the weather.
10. We changed the policy so that it could be more clearly understood.