There's a reply I read right before, and I'm not familiar with using 'as' when I need to compare something or hear someone comparing something.

Yes, it's heard in colloquial usage. It would be spoken more as "After she’d had her baby.”

  1. Is it possible to use 'than' instead of 'as' here?

  2. Is there certain time I should only use 'as', not 'than'?

  • 1
    No, the "as" there can be replaced with "in the form of". – M.A.R. ಠ_ಠ Feb 17 '15 at 8:03
  • Since you are asking about using "as" in comparisons, I'm wondering if you are thinking of the "as . . . as" construction. For example, these two ideas are roughly the same: "It would not be said as often as" and "It would be said less often than." In that case, "as" and "than" aren't exactly interchangeable, because they require other changes in the sentence, but you can express more or less the same idea with the "as . . . as" comparison and the "than" comparison. – joiedevivre Dec 6 '17 at 0:36

Is it possible to use 'than' instead of 'as' here?

Yes, they are equally grammatically correct. However, as and than have completely different meanings in this context.

It would be spoken more as

This construction talks about the correct way to phrase something; which words to choose. It can also be said as:

  • It would be spoken more like
  • It would be spoken more along the lines of
  • It would be spoken more in the manner of

Here, as creates an equivalency relation. What comes after is more or less the same as what comes before; the correct way to say it, in this case. The context tells us in this case that the sentence is comparing ways of speaking; as can be used to equate any two comparable things or qualities.

It would be spoken more than

This construction talks about which of the two is said more often. It means the same as:

  • It would be spoken more often than
  • It would be spoken more commonly than
  • It would be spoken with greater frequency than

Using than creates a frequency relation in this case. It compares the incidence rates of the subject and object. However, than does not always talk about frequency; it can be used for any general comparison of amounts or quantities. In this case, we infer that it means more often than from the context.

Is there certain time I should only use 'as', not 'than'?

This is extremely difficult to answer, because it depends almost entirely on what you want to say and how you want to say it. Notice how in your example the meaning changes entirely (word choice versus usage frequency) as the result of such a minor edit? This happens because the context is just that important.

As and than have different meanings when considered as single words. But we never use them in isolation; they simply don't function as interjections or ejaculations. And it's both easy and common to construct phrases which might appear similar to a non-native speaker but have quite different meanings, or vice versa.

However, in general, you might consider these rules of thumb:

  • As creates a relationship that conveys more or less equal or equivalent
  • Than creates a relationship that compares magnitudes or amounts which are usually different; greater than or less than

These are absolutely not hard and fast rules, merely a general approximation of the most common usages.


You said you are not sure while using 'as' when you compare things. You have the answer there! Use 'as compared to...' and the problem is solved!

As compared to the sentence 'X', 'Y' is more commonly used.

If you want to compare those sentences with 'than', use it this way -

Sentence 'Y' is more common (commoner) than sentence 'X'.

Be careful using 'than' and 'then'. Non-native speakers often miss this.

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.