1

Can I use "after that' and "then" Interchangeably in the following sentences?

1- Hey John, first clean your room, then/after that complete your homework. 

2- He was first trained as a secretary and then/after that he got a job.

3- Yesterday I went to the market, then/after that I returned home and started cooking for my parents.

  • The underlying meaning is the same. – Tᴚoɯɐuo Nov 5 '17 at 13:35
  • Yes meaning are same, basically after that is used for first time & then is used for second time and onwards... – Chirag Jain Nov 5 '17 at 15:00
  • 1
    I feel like sentence 2 is the only one where "after that" would work, unless you add the word "and" before "after that". But correct me if I'm wrong. – Daniel G Nov 6 '17 at 1:07
1

I agree with Daniel G. "Then" works for me as a conjunction, and "after that" doesn't. But it feels like a marginal case. Combining them, as in:

Hey John, first clean your room, then after that complete your homework.

Would sound fine to me in conversational speech, as would "and after that," because you're introducing a conjunction.

If you change the comma to a period or semicolon, "after that" works fine. Sentence 2 is also correct, because it has the conjunction "and," but I'd like to see a comma before the conjunction.

  • Even though I am not the asker, thank you for the helpful explanation. But, in your writing, is as would "and after that," correct? Doesn't it have to be as "and after that" would,? – Smart Humanism May 3 '18 at 14:28
  • The two things that I am concerned with are the position of the comma being before the quotation mark and the order of words where the subject "and after that" is placed after would. – Smart Humanism May 3 '18 at 14:55
  • 1
    Good question. as "and after that" would would be very unnatural English. In English, when you're indicating similarity with a phrase beginning with "as" + verb/auxiliary (e.g., "as is," "as was," "as would"), they tend to act as a set phrase that doesn't want to be separated. e.g.: "I'm a firefighter, as is my sister" sounds correct, but "I'm a firefighter, as my sister is," is very odd. Hope this helps, and you might consider asking it as a question, because it's a good one. – mamster May 3 '18 at 16:30
  • Thank you very much for the great comment. Your comment is very clear and gives a very neat answer. – Smart Humanism May 3 '18 at 17:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.