Though Vs. Thought: What’s the Correct Spelling?

Words with the same pattern are often confused and misspelled in English. In fact, there are words so astoundingly similar that it’s even hard to spot the difference at first glance. How about words like though, through, and thorough? These words look similar, but they have different pronunciations. And how do you spell though? Is it though or thought?

This article explains the difference between the two and how to spell them correctly as you write.

Though or Thought — Which One Is Correct?

The words ‘Though‘ and ‘Thought‘ both are grammatically correct and standardized terms in the English dictionary. However, they are not interchangeable terms and mean completely different things. These words are often confused as they appear similar in the letter order but differentiating between them is easy.

Though means despite the fact; however. It is used to introduce a subordinate clause or fact that contrasts the idea of the main clause. ‘Though’ can be used as an adverb or conjunction.

  • Though I was tired, I still went shopping with my sister. (conjunction)
  • The review class was too long though it was helpful. (adverb)

Thought is an opinion or idea produced by thinking in the mind. It is a noun when used in sentences.

  • I thought it was a horror movie.
  • He thought it would be wise to accept the deal.
A yellow drawing of a light bulb pinned to a corkboard
Photo by AbsolutVision on Unsplash

How Do You Spell Though

Though‘ is a 1-syllable word that is easy to pronounce but is a tricky word to spell out. It is spelled as T-H-O-U-G-H with 2 vowels and 4 consonants. The phonetic transcription of ‘though’ is /ðəʊ/. In both US and UK English, the word is pronounced as [thow].

“Tho’ is an informal and simplified spelling of ‘though’and should not be used in professional writing. The confusion arises from the “-gh” at the end of ‘though.’ We use “-gh-” in some frequently used words like right, weight, enough, daughter, etc.

These words follow a common letter pattern: -igh-, -eigh-, -ough-, -augh-.

Background of the -gh- words

It’s worth noting that the words with gh are related to how it was derived from different language and evolved with time. These are Anglo-Saxon words where the ‘gh’ was pronounced with a hard h sound like the Scottishword ‘loch.’ However, the French adopted the words by adding a g before h to reflect the hard h sound.

Definition of Though with Example Sentences

Based on the definition, ‘though’ functions as a conjunction or an adverb. The meaning and use of ‘though’ in different contexts are as follows:

As conjunction:

‘Though’ means in spite of the fact or possibility. There are also common formal phrases, such as even though and although. ‘Though’ is used to connect sentences when functioning as a conjunction.

  • Though he worked hard on the project, it was not successful.
  • She bought me an expensive dress even though I told her not to.
  • He lives in a small flat, although he is very wealthy.

As an Adverb:

‘Though’ is used to mean “however; suggesting that a factor poses a restriction to what was previously expressed.” As an adverb, ‘though’ is used to link ideas together.

  • The work was done though it was more challenging than I thought.
  • I went out to buy groceries. It was raining, though.
  • The apartment was very big. Our flat was the smallest one, though.

The Bottom Line

English words that fall within the same letter pattern are often misspelled. Therefore, you need to be more careful when writing such words. How do you spell though now? I hope it’s not a confusing word to you anymore. This article is meant to help you learn the spelling of though and use it in the appropriate context.

Pam is an expert grammarian with years of experience teaching English, writing and ESL Grammar courses at the university level. She is enamored with all things language and fascinated with how we use words to shape our world.

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