Difference Between Threw and Through (With Examples and Table)

Threw vs Through

The key difference between Threw and Through lies in the fact that “Threw” is the past tense of throw while through stands as an adjective, preposition, and adverb in the part of speech.

Threw means to hurl anything and through means to pass by or to check.

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

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

In the world of grammar, words which share the same pronunciation yet spell and mean two different things are referred to as homophones. This makes ‘threw’ and ‘through’ a classic example of homophones.

Homophones are a common cause of confusion in the English language.

You have two words that belong to two different parts of speech or are derived from different words, and you unknowingly use them interchangeably in a sentence.

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 right 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 reporting in the past.

Threw could also mean to dislodge, to make pottery, to cast a dice, or to 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.

It’s then that the past tense ‘threw’ would be derived from the past tense of the same word, thrawan.

Threw
threw in real world
 

Through

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

So when something enters into something and then exits it from the other side, then you can say that 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.

Other than that, ‘through’ can also be used to mean something is running nonstop.

As an adjective, ‘through’ is used to mean the item or tool being 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 end and left it using an exit door at the back.

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

Here, through is used to mean finish or complete. What’s being implied is that if by any chance the subject won’t have completed the assigned work, then 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 is simply wondering 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
See Through the Glass

 

Comparison Table Between Threw and Through (in Tabular Form)

Parameters of ComparisonThrewThrough
Part of SpeechVerbAdjective, adverb, and preposition
UsesAs the past tense of throw. To indicate hurling an object by great force.Use to indicate passage, as a result of, cause, completion, or running something nonstop.
OriginOriginated from a middle English word thrawan.Coined from a middle English word thruhg orv thurg
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Main Differences Between Threw and Through

1) The words threw and through are two parallel words that only share the same pronunciation and nothing else.

2) The two words cannot be used interchangeably, and that’s because they bear two totally different meanings that are not in any way connected.

3) ‘Through’ is used in reference to motion or passage. It can also be used to mean finishing something or getting done with work or a particular project.

4) Contrariwise, people use ‘threw’ to indicate hurling. It means launching something by hand or using a catapult.


 

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.

From these two examples, it can be noted that the two words bear a series of meanings that differ from each other depending on the message being passed across.

In the first sentence, ‘threw’ is used to mean ‘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 was going 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 to try so hard to win someone’s affection.

It’s a well-known fact 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 idiomatic 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.


 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) About Threw and Through

  1. Which is Correct Thru or Through?

    The word “thru” is a casual English usage and is a shortened version of “through”. The origin of the colloquial expression “thru” can be traced back to the informal American English which developed around the 1890s.

    Even though the word “thru” is extensively used in informal writing and texting, the spelling is incorrect and is not accepted as per the norms of the English Language.

    The word ‘thru’ represents a phonetic spelling and even though it has the same meaning as the word ‘through’ it should not be used for any kind of official communication.

  2. What is the Past Tense of Through?

    The word “through” is a preposition and can be compared to words like “on” or “at”. Hence, it doesn’t have a past tense. It serves as an adverb or adjective in a sentence and is generally used to express an action associated with a noun.

    To mention something that has happened in the past you can use the word “through” along with the past tense of other verbs like “went” or “had been”. For instance, “we went through the pages”.

  3. Give an Example of Threw in a Sentence?

    The word “threw” is the past tense of “throw” and it is used to express the act of throwing that has happened in the past. Here is an example where the word is used in a sentence – “He threw his cap on the ground in frustration and left at once”.

    Note that, the word “threw” should not be confused with “thrown” which is the past participle of the word “throw”.


 

Infographic

Threw vs Through

 

Conclusion

As you can see, the only similarity that exists between the word ‘threw’ and ‘through’ is pronunciation. That means that you’re not allowed to use them interchangeably in a sentence in any way.


 

Word Cloud for Difference Between Threw and Through

The following is a collection of the most used terms in this article on Threw and Through. This should help in recalling related terms as used in this article at a later stage for you.

threw and through
Word Cloud for Threw and Through

References

  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/threw
  2. https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/through