Homophones: Threw or Through?

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:

  1. Moving in one side and out the other side of something
  2. 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!

Which words do you confuse? Let us know on Twitter or Facebook.

Share this post
Email Address

You currently have JavaScript disabled!

This site requires JavaScript to be enabled. Some functions of the site may not be usable or the site may not look correct until you enable JavaScript. You can enable JavaScript by following this tutorial. Once JavaScript is enabled, this message will be removed.