The Difference Between Thru vs. Through

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The English language has many confusing words that we often get hung up on. Not knowing how to use those phrases can sometimes lead to humiliation. In today’s article, we will get to know the difference between Thru vs. Through. These two words sound the same and the spelling can be confusing, but only the word through is the accurate spelling in American English. Let’s understand more about these two versions of the same word.

What is Through?

Generally, through is a preposition (a word that expresses a relation to another word); however, it can be used as an adjective and an adverb. The word through means from one end or side of something to the other.

Examples of the word “through”:

  • We drove our car through the tunnel.
  • My father waded through the water to reach the ship.
  • I had to struggle through the crowd to reach the stage.
  • How long will it take to get through this traffic?
  • Her memories kept running through my head.
  • Police saw her driving through a red signal.
  • She repeatedly runs her hand through her hair.
  • Soldiers were marching through the river.
  • We all are going through tough times.

What is Thru?

Thru is a non-standard spelling of through that is not correct in standard American English. You should strictly avoid using this in any professional, academic, and formal writing. Some people use thru in informal writing and to refer to a drive-through, a restaurant, or other facilities that allow people to buy things without leaving their cars. 

In addition to this, the use of thru is also quite common on traffic signs specifying no thru traffic. Nowadays, this non-standard spelling is also becoming popular in texting or instant messaging.

Examples of the word “thru”:

  • You can place your order at the intercom and proceed through the drive-thru.
  • It’s punishable to drive there; you will have to go around. See that no-thru-traffic sign.
  • I love drama series; probably, I’ll go thru all the episodes of Money Heist.
  • The restaurant is planning to open its first drive-thru next week.

How to Remember Thru Vs. Through

Once you know the difference between the two, it won’t be difficult for you to remember how to use them. Always remember, “through” is the accurate spelling. However, restaurants don’t use this standard spelling as they do not want to spend extra bucks on advertising a few additional letters. Plus “thru” is kind of trendy.

One quick way to remember whether to use through or thru is: through has the letter “O” in its spelling. You can remember “O” as in “official.” “Through” is an official spelling while thru is unofficial or informal. 

Should I Use Thru or Through?

As we mentioned above, through is the correct version. So whether you’re writing a formal, academic, or professional text, you should always use this correct version. Thru, on the other hand, is an inaccurate spelling in almost all contexts, except for those mentioned above. 

So these are the differences between Thru vs. Through. We hope now these common misspellings won’t give your trouble anymore. 


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