Difference Between Threw and Thru (With Table)

Homophones often confuse as they have the same pronunciation. Interestingly, the meanings of the words differ, and so does the spelling. This is a major cause of concern as we write. The spelling error owing to interchanging the words among the homophones can make a sentence meaningless too. One such homophone pair is Threw and Thru. While these two have the same pronunciation, the spelling changes. Also, ‘Thru’ is a word that is a shortened form of Through. The difference between these two words shall give a lot of insights in using these in your writing as well as spoken language.

Threw vs Thru

The difference between Threw and Thru is the parts of speech they both belong to. Threw is the past tense of the word ‘Throw’, and it belongs to a verb. Whereas, Thru is a shrunk and informal way of mentioning the word ‘Through’ while writing or typing email or text. It belongs to two parts of speeches; Adverb and Preposition.

Threw is a word that can refer to an incident of throwing in the past. It is a verb and has different meanings depending on the situation it is used. In general, Throw means launching something in the air. And one can throw using the hand as well. “Threw’, apart from having multiple meanings, is widely used in many phrasal verbs in the English language.

Thru is a redundant form of the word ‘Through’. Widely used by the people of this era as they type text messages or even emails. It falls under two categories of Parts of Speech; Adverb and Preposition. Similar to ‘Threw’, ‘Thru’ also has multiple meanings and can change depending on the context.

Comparison Table Between Threw and Thru

Parameters of ComparisonThrewThru
Parts of SpeechThrew is a verb.Thru can be used as an adverb, adjective or even preposition.
Formal WritingThrew can be used in the formal way of writing too.Thru is completely colloquial and not considered formal as we write.
TensePast – TenseIt can be used in sentences that refer to the past as well as the present.
MeaningLaunch something on the airMovement of an object or a person from one side to the other of another object.

What is Threw?

‘Threw’ is a word that is in its past-tense is used to refer to if something is propelled in the air. The present tense of ‘Threw’ is ‘Throw’. The word falls under the verb category of Parts of speech. The word has different meanings. Let us see a few of those to understand the versatility of this homophone.

  1. In usual contexts, ‘Throw’ means Propelling an object in the air using the arm as well as the hand.

E.g. Lilly threw a ball over the compound

  1. If you force something or someone to change the position from one state to another.

E.g. Robert threw Lilly clear, and she survived.

  1. If you happen to set up something or erect something fast, you can still use the word ‘throw.’

E.g. Robert helped throw a barricade across the stairway.

Likewise, the word ‘Throw’ and its Past-tense has several meanings. Also, the word is used in various phrasal verbs. A few examples are

  1. Throw At – Aim and launce at the given target
  2. Throw Away – Dispose or Discard Something or Someone
  3. Throw in – Add something to an existing one
  4. Throw off – Remove something quickly
  5. Throw on – Add something quickly

The word ‘Throw’ can be used in formal contexts in spoken as well as written English.

What is Thru?

The word ‘Thru’ is an informal way of using the word Through. Though the pronunciation does not explicitly show the usage to be informal while writing, it does. The word ‘Thru’ is not accepted in formal writing. At the same time, there is one instance these days; it falls under the formal category according to English.

The word drive-thru is still accepted formal because of its lengthy spelling if ‘through’ is added. ‘Thru’ can be used as a reference to the past and the present. It belongs to three different parts of speeches.

  1. Adverb
  2. Preposition
  3. Adjective

As the parts of speech differ, the meaning differs too. Let’s quickly see a few to understand the meaning of the word ‘thru.’

  1. Thru as a Preposition

Meaning: Movement of something that enters through one side and exits from the other.

It can be an opening/channel/ location.

As such, ‘thru’ can be used in contexts that refer to time as well. This also falls under preposition.

Meaning: Continuing a process in a given time frame

E.g. Messi Scored the winning goal through the second half.

  1. Thru as an Adverb

Meaning: The expression of the movement of an object or a person from one point to another.

E.g. They came running through the gate

Thru also refers to ‘Time’ in this case as well.

E.g. She will be on tour through July this year.

  1. Thru as an Adjective

Meaning: (Referring to Public Transport) Continuing till the final destination

E.g. It is a through train from Bristol.

Main Differences Between Threw and Thru

  1. The main difference between Threw and Thru lies in the category in which they belong in the English language. Threw is a verb, and Thru is a preposition, adverb and adjective.
  2. Threw can be used in formal writing while Thru is not accepted
  3. Threw is the past tense of the word ‘Throw’ while ‘thru’ can be used in both the tenses comfortably.
  4. ‘Threw’ is a word of British origin while ‘Thru’ is man-made and it is of American origin
  5. Threw means launch something in the air with the force of our hand, while thru is moving from one point to another from a medium.


Threw is accepted in a written format all over the world. Thru is completely colloquial and does not represent formal writing aspects. The American origin words have altered spellings based on the pronunciation. As such, ‘thru’ is used in places where we feel ‘through’ is a lengthy word to the type or write. Both the words are richly used in idioms, while threw has a special mention in the phrasal verbs as well. One last example combining both the words

‘Lilly came to know through Robert that he threw a party last weekend without inviting her.’


  1. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/threw
  2. https://www.yourdictionary.com/thru
2D vs 3D