Difference Between Through and Thorough

English language comprises of certain sets of words which are confusing to use. Through and thorough are two such words which are spelled and pronounced in almost the same manner.

These similarity tends to puzzle a lot of people; as a result of which these two words are interchangeably used by many.

 In spite of the narrow similarities the two words are highly unlike each other.

Through vs Thorough

The main difference between through and thorough is that Through can be interchangeably used as a member of various parts of speech; while thorough in the recent past has been declared as a member of a single part of speech. The spelling has the difference of an O

Through vs Thorough

The dissimilarities between the two tend to change the meaning of the sentence in which the words are used.


Comparison Table Between Through and Thorough (in Tabular Form)

Parameter of ComparisonThroughThorough
SpellingThroughThorough- it has an O between h and r
PronunciationThroo –ThrouThur-oh (Thor-ough)
Grammatical variations31
Date of OriginAround 12th centuryAround 15th century- (the variations originated before that are now no longer used)
Root of the wordPart of classic English but has roots from German and Dutch languagePart of classic English


When to Use Through?

The word ‘through’ is the member of three parts of speech. It is used as a preposition, adjective and adverb all at the same time.

The use of the word within a sentence determine its meaning along with defining the set of speech it is representing.

As a preposition ‘through’ explains the situations:

  1. To indicate the result of an action or event- The firm lost the customer through delays in supplies.
  2. To point out the use of a mediator in order to achieve something- I got appointed through my cousin or this is my share of inheritance through my grandmother.
  3. At times through means ‘due to’-She passed through her previous knowledge.

As an adjective through reflects upon multiple meanings:

  1. At certain points it gives meaning of completion or conclusion of a certain stage – is through the house job phase.
  2. Through also means ascending further- Through stage seven of the game.
  3. It is commonly used to describe the traffic and location of something- through a busy lane.

Through is mostly used as an Adverb of place and time:

  1. Indicating the distance between two ends- made way through the crowd to reach the man lying on the floor.
  2. Indicate the fulfillment of a task or comprehend the time served for the purpose- The internship will continue through the summers.

The spelling of through has now been shortened as thru. Yet the official spelling remains the former one while the latter has been declared a slang version to be used for unceremonious purposes.

through 1

When to Use Thorough?

Initially thorough also had a diverse grammatical back ground; but in the modern English it is only used as an adjective making the other two formats outdated.

Thorough as an adjective usually refers to the accomplishment or with abundant care:

  1. It refers to going over something in detail- He thoroughly went over the entire syllabus.
  2. Used to signify the immense attention paid to a task- The doctor made thorough examination

The use of thorough as a preposition and an adverb is no longer a part of English dictionary.


Main Differences Between Through and Thorough

  1. The grammatical variations of through are all active whereas for thorough two of them have been declared outmoded and are no longer used in modern English.
  2. Through has now another spelling thru; though it is still not an official version yet it is being used a lot. Thorough has no such second spelling.



The words through and thorough, tend to provide further detail to the subject of the sentence, by giving an in depth detail to its action.

The entire sentence and its meaning can change with a slight interchange of alphabets, resulting in a chaos both for the writer and the reader.

An understanding of the two, shall prevent the writer from making trivial mistakes, which can change the perception of the reader.


  1. https://www.macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/through
  2. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/thorough
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