Commonly Confused Words: Threw vs. Through vs. Thorough

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What does each word mean?

Threw is the past tense formation of the word throw, which describes the act of propelling something into the air. Throw is also used figuratively to refer to the act of entering an emotional state (like a tantrum) and the act of planning and hosting a celebration. It is also the verb used to describe the action of creating ceramics on a pottery wheel

Here is threw used in some example sentences:

  • The girls threw the ball back and forth. 
  • The child threw a tantrum. 
  • The ventriloquist threw her voice and made everyone think the puppet was talking.
  • We threw my dad a party for his seventieth birthday. 
  • The first pot I threw was very wonky, but I quickly got better. 

If you go through something, it means you enter from one side and leave from another; continue towards the completion of something; or look over all or part of something. Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is through used in some example sentences: 

  • We drove through the tunnel. 
  • He pushed his way through crowd. 
  • The sun shone through the clouds. 
  • Halfway through the journey, we stopped for lunch.
  • The couple were going through a rough patch.
  • I flipped through my notes. 

Thorough is an adjective that describes the act of doing something in a painstakingly careful and accurate way. Click here for the full Spellzone dictionary definition of the word.

Here is thorough used in some example sentences:

  • She examined the work thoroughly.
  • We did a thorough job of clearing out the shed. 

Are there any tricks to help remember the difference between threw, through, and thorough?

  • Use threw and through in the same sentence, for example: ‘She threw the ball through the window.’ 
  • Use thorough in the same sentence as the word borough to remind you that these rhyming words are spelt similarly, for example: ‘The borough council conducted a thorough study.’ 

Learn more about ough words in Unit 17

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06 Mar 2020
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