Through and threw are two words which can be easily confused, but using the wrong spelling can completely change the context of your sentence.
This is an example of a homophone – where two words sound the same but have a different meaning and spelling. Other examples of homophones include dessert and desert, bear and bare, or stationary and stationery.
‘Through’ is both a preposition and an adverb that can mean:
- Moving in one side and out the other side of something
- Continuing in time towards completion of a process
He ran his fingers through his hair
She looked through her binoculars to get a closer look
We have to go through the woods to get to Grandma’s house
Freddie had been through so much already
Threw refers to a physical action. It is the past tense of the verb ‘throw’, which means to launch something in the air.
She threw the mouldy fruit in the bin
He threw his hands up in the air to celebrate
She threw her ring at him as she walked away
Maria was good at football, but after one bad game, she threw in the towel
How to remember the difference
When it comes to difficult homophones, having a trick to remember the difference can help you use the words correctly in future. It doesn’t have to be anything groundbreaking – as long as it works for you.
For example; ‘She threw the mouldy fruit in the bin.’ The correct word to describe her action is ’threw’ which ends in ‘ew’. So just think about eating mouldy fruit – Ew!
Alternatively, remember that threw is a verb, and they both have an ‘e’. So when you are talking about an action, you need the verb, which is ‘threw’. When it’s not an action, you should use ‘through’.
Are you through with using the incorrect version of threw?
Hopefully, this blog has helped clear up the difference between the two words and given you a few ideas on how you can remember which to use. If you are still unsure, here are a couple more examples:
He threw the ball so far, she had to go through the neighbour’s garden to retrieve it
She had been through every single application – some of them were so bad she threw them in the bin!