Threw vs Through: Difference and Comparison

In grammar, homophones are words that share the same pronunciation yet spell and mean two different things. This makes ‘threw’ and ‘through’ classic examples of homophones.

Homophones are a common cause of confusion in the English language. You have two words that belong to two parts of speech or are derived from different words, and you unknowingly use them interchangeably in a sentence.

Key Takeaways

  1. “Threw” is the past tense of the verb “throw,” indicating tossing or hurling something.
  2. “Through” is a preposition, adverb, or adjective denoting movement or passage from one point to another or the completion process.
  3. These two words are homophones with different meanings and grammatical functions; “threw” is a verb, while “through” can be a preposition, adverb, or adjective.

Threw vs Through

“Threw” is the past tense of the verb “throw” which means to propel something with force, while “through” is a preposition that means moving in one side and out of the other side of an object or an area. Example: “He threw the ball” vs. “He walked through the door.”

Threw vs Through

Examples: 1) Lily ‘threw’ a brick on Adam’s face that he got unconscious. 2) People were going ‘through’ no entry.

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Threw and through are pronounced the same, yet their meaning is as different as chalk and cheese.

Comparison Table

Feature“Threw”“Through”
Part of SpeechVerb (past tense)Preposition and adverb
MeaningPast tense of “throw,” meaning to propel something through the air with force.Indicates movement from one side or end of an opening, space, or location to the other.
UsageDescribes an action of throwing something in the past.Indicates passage, movement, or completion from one side to the other.
Examples“He threw the ball to his friend.”“They walked through the forest.”
PronunciationRhymes with “blue.”Rhymes with “threw.”
SynonymsTossed, hurled, cast.Across, over, from one side to another.
AntonymsCaught, received.Stopped, halted, stationary.
Related FormsThrow (present tense), throwing (present participle), thrown (past participle).N/A
Common MistakesUsing “through” when referring to an action of throwing.Using “threw” when indicating passage or movement.
Sentence Structure“She threw the keys to him.”“The path leads through the mountains.”
Idiomatic Usage“Threw in the towel” means giving up or surrendering.“Through thick and thin” means in good times and bad times.

When to Use Threw?

Threw is a verb that acts as the past tense of throw. When you’re talking about propelling something in the air by a great amount of force, you’re talking about throwing it.

Now when you report the same statement in the past, the correct verb to use is ‘threw.’

Examples:

  1. She threw the ball at him
  2. The monkey threw back his hat.

All these example statements are reported in the past. Threw could also mean to dislodge, make pottery, cast a dice, or lose deliberately.

It’s believed that the word throw, the present tense of the verb threw, was coined from the word throwen — a middle English word that meant to twist, hurl, or wring.

Then, the past tense ‘threw’ would be derived from the past tense of the same word, thrawan.

Threw

When to Use Through?

Through is an adverb that also doubles as a preposition and adjective. The word indicates entering from one side and exiting from the other.

So when something enters into something and then exits it from the other side, you can say it’s gone through.

Through can also be used to suggest a passage. It’s also used to indicate task completion or that something has moved from one point to another; otherwise, ‘through’ means something is running nonstop.

As an adjective, ‘through’ means the item or tool used or the cause of something.

Again, the word through is believed to have evolved from a Middle English word, thruhg or thurg, which came from an ancient English word thurh. Both words bear the same meaning as through.

Examples in a sentence:

1) The boy threw the ball at her sister.

Threw is used in this sentence to mean hurl.

2) Kevin walked through the shop to their backyard, where he found his father attending to their flock.

 ‘Through’ is used in this sense to refer to a passage. It means that Kevin entered the shop from the front and left it using an exit door at the back.

 3) If you wouldn’t be through with your work when the bell rings, you won’t go out for a short break.

Here, through is used to mean finish or complete. What’s being implied is that if the subject doesn’t complete the assigned work by any chance, they won’t be going out for the short break.

4) Thought you were through with school.

In this sentence, ‘through’ is used to mean finish. The person making the statement wonders why the subject hasn’t finished school yet.

5) She learned about the job through Facebook.

Here, though is used to mean “as a result of.”

Through

Main Differences Between Threw and Through

  1. Meaning:
    • Threw: “Threw” is the past tense of the verb “throw,” which means to propel something through the air with force, usually by hand.
      • Example: “He threw the ball to his friend.”
    • Through: “Through” is a preposition and an adverb that indicates movement from one side or end of an opening, space, or location to the other.
      • Example: “They walked through the forest.”
  2. Part of Speech:
    • Threw: Verb (past tense).
    • Through: Preposition and adverb.
  3. Usage:
    • Threw: Used when describing an action of throwing something in the past.
    • Through: Used to indicate movement from one side to the other, often denoting passage or completion.
  4. Examples:
    • Threw: “He threw the frisbee across the yard.”
    • Through: “They walked through the tunnel to reach the other side.”
  5. Pronunciation:
    • Threw: rhymes with “blue.”
    • Through: rhymes with “threw.”

Examples:


  1. The despicable boy threw a mug at her mother before escaping through the back door.
  2. He threw the party through his elder brother.

These two examples show that the two words have meanings that differ depending on the message being passed across.

In the first sentence, ‘threw’ means ‘propel.’ The mug was propelled towards the mother. In the same sentence, through is used to mean ‘from.’

In the second case, however, ‘threw’ is used idiomatically to mean ‘organize’ or ‘to hold,’ while through is used to mean ‘by way of.’

Idiomatic Use of Threw

Threw can be used idiomatically to mean different things. For instance:

1) Threw a monkey wrench, which means to sabotage something.

Everything went according to plan until the weather threw a monkey wrench into the wedding plan.

2) Threw cold water on, which means discourage.

Her mother’s remarks threw cold water into her ambitions.

3) Threw oneself at, which means trying hard to win someone’s affection.

It’s well-known that the bride threw herself at the best man.

4) Threw oneself into, which means to try something vigorously.

She threw herself into the project and was determined to make it successful.

Idiomatic Use of Through

‘Through’ also boasts a series of everyday use. They include:

1) through and through, which means complete.

She’s a staunch Manchester United fan, through and through.

2) Go through with something, which means to continue or see something to completion.

She was criticized, but that didn’t stop her from going through with the proposition.

3) Go through the rood, which means to get angry.

She came home late, and her dad went through the roof.

Difference Between Threw and Through
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