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Threw vs. Through

  • Threw and through are pronounced the same, but they have different meanings and uses.
  • Threw is the past tense of the verb throw. It’s the word you use to say that something threw you for a loop or threw you off.
  • Through is an adverb and a preposition. It’s used to say that you entered on one side of something and exited on the other.

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Threw and through are homophones—words that have different meanings and spellings but are pronounced the same. Homophones are often a cause of confusion, even when they belong to completely different parts of speech, as do threw and through.

A split-pane image with a man throwing a frisbee in the left panel and the word "Threw". In the right panel, a car drives through a redwood tree with the word "Through".

Difference Between Threw and Through

Threw is the past tense of the verb throw, which means to launch something into the air with your hand:

Jimmy likes to throw the ball as fast as it can go.

We use throw in many phrasal verbs. To throw something away means to get rid of it. To throw something in can mean to add something to an offer. To throw oneself into something means to start working on it with enthusiasm. Throw is also part of several common idioms, like when you say that something is a stone’s throw away, or that something threw you for a loop.

Through can be used as a preposition or an adverb. It’s used to indicate movement that leads into one side of something and out the other side:

She had to walk through several doors on her way to the office.

Through has a few other uses, too. It can be used instead of the phrase “by means of”.

You can avoid many mistakes through careful planning.

It can also refer to time.

Through the years you’ve gained an appreciation for grammar.

Examples of Through and Threw

A woman who threw pumpkin seeds at Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Hamilton today is being questioned by the RCMP.

The South Jakarta District Court threw out the lawsuit last year but the mother appealed to the High Court.

Clinton has a solid lead in most polls, which allowed SNL to pretty much coast along on the assumption that we’re all going through the motions at this point.

I wander through the old city and stop at a house that is elegant and well proportioned, its creamy facade a throwback to a more decorous time.

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