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.
- “Threw” is the past tense of the verb “throw,” meaning to propel something through the air.
- “Thru” is an informal abbreviation of “through,” indicating movement from one side to the other.
- Use “threw” when discussing an act of throwing; use “thru” informally for movement or progression.
Threw vs Thru
Threw’ is the past tense of the verb ‘throw’, which means to propel something with force through the air by a movement of the arm and hand. ‘Thru’ is an informal, shorthand spelling of the word ‘through’, which is a preposition used to indicate movement in one side and out the other side of an object or a medium.
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, Throwing 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; Adverbs and Prepositions. Similar to ‘Threw,’ ‘Thru’ also has multiple meanings and can change depending on the context.
|Parameters of Comparison||Threw||Thru|
|Parts of Speech||Threw is a verb.||Thru can be used as an adverb, adjective or even preposition.|
|Formal Writing||Threw can be used in the formal way of writing too.||Thru is completely colloquial and not considered formal as we write.|
|Tense||Past – Tense||It can be used in sentences that refer to the past as well as the present.|
|Meaning||Launch something on the air||Movement of an object or a person from one side to the other of another object.|
What is Threw?
‘Threw’ is a word that, 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.
- 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.
- If you force something or someone to change their position from one state to another.
E.g., Robert threw Lilly clear, and she survived.
- 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 have several meanings. Also, the word is used in various phrasal verbs. A few examples are
- Throw At – Aim and launch at the given target
- Throw Away – Dispose or Discard Something or Someone
- Throw in – Add something to an existing one
- Throw off – Remove something quickly
- 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 formally 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 speech.
As the parts of speech differ, the meaning differs too. Let’s quickly see a few to understand the meaning of the word ‘thru.’
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Threw can be used in formal writing, while Thru is not accepted.
- Threw is the past tense of the word ‘Throw’ while ‘thru’ can be used in both tenses comfortably.
- ‘Threw’ is a word of British origin, while ‘Thru’ is man-made and it is of American origin.
- Threw means launching something in the air with the force of our hand, while thru is moving from one point to another from a medium.
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Emma Smith holds an MA degree in English from Irvine Valley College. She has been a Journalist since 2002, writing articles on the English language, Sports, and Law. Read more about me on her bio page.