Through vs. Thru – Difference, Usage & Examples

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Candace Osmond

Candace Osmond studied Advanced Writing & Editing Essentials at MHC. She’s been an International and USA TODAY Bestselling Author for over a decade. And she’s worked as an Editor for several mid-sized publications. Candace has a keen eye for content editing and a high degree of expertise in Fiction.

Is it “I am going through something” or “I am going thru something”? Is it thru or through? Is thru a word?

Through and thru are both correct. However, one is used in formal writing, while the other is best for informal situations.

My simple guide will show you the difference between through vs. thru with sentence examples.

Through vs. Thru

Through is an appropriate and preferred spelling of the preposition, adverb, or adjective. But you can also use thru as an alternate and informal spelling in informal writing. Thru isn’t necessarily the incorrect spelling, just a non-standard spelling and acceptable choice of slang.

Through vs Thru Ngram
Through and thru usage trend.

This Ngram shows that through has become the more popular word. The formal and official spelling is widespread in academic papers and professional texts.

Through Meaning

Through is often the correct choice and can be an adverb, preposition, or adjective that can mean:

  • From beginning to end.
  • During the entire period.
  • From one side to another.

It is the only recognized spelling in formal English. Here are some examples of through in a sentence.

  • I am through with you.
  • The program runs from morning through dinner night.
  • My elementary through high school years were the best.

Through also appears in some quotes, idioms, and expressions.

  • Through and through (completely or in every aspect)
  • Come through (to do what one says shall do)
  • Breakthrough (a relevant advance)
  • Jumping through hoops (to go through difficult or numerous activities to achieve a goal)

Here are more examples of through in sentences.

  • However, he’s made big strides in the past week after progressing to on-court work and game-like movements. He went through practice on Monday and Tuesday, a very good sign signaling his return is near. [NBA]
  • Andy Lipow, president of Lipow Oil Associates, tells CNBC that concerns about the age and quality of the shadow fleet carrying Russian crude oil through the Bosphorus will only grow. [CNBC]

Thru Meaning

Thru has become an alternate spelling for through due to text messaging trends and food restaurants. This word has the same meaning:

  • From beginning to end
  • During the entire period
  • From one side to another

Use it only in informal situations and when referring to restaurant drive-throughs. Here are some examples of thru in a sentence.

  • Please see this thru.
  • I went thru several pages to find your number.
  • Can we pass by the drive-thru to buy burgers and chicken nuggets?
  • She wants to buy a see-thru dress for her birthday party.
  • We saw a sign that said no thru traffic on our road trip.

Here are more examples of news articles that use thru.

  • As customers increasingly head to the drive-thru instead of walking inside, major chains are now experimenting with smaller interior footprints. [QSR Magazine]
  • Our trusty pals at McDonald’s are doubling down on that promise by introducing a new drive-thru concept that will cut down even more on wait times. [Thrillist]

How to Remember the Difference

Grammarist Article Graphic V4 2022 12 20T153359.963

The only way to remember through vs. thru is by analyzing the context. Through is the correct spelling. But thru is acceptable in informal situations because the silent letters indicate its informality.

Can I Say “Did Not Go Thru?”

You can only say “did not go thru” in informal situations.

Can I Say “Thru the Door”?

Yes, you can say “thru the door” in informal situations.

Is Through a Preposition?

Through is a preposition that means moving in one side and out of the other. It can also be an adjective or adverb.

Is It “Drive Thru” or “Drive Through”?

Both words are correct. But the informal term drive thru or drive-thru is more popular.

Final Word on Through and Thru

Hopefully, this article has helped you learn when to use thru and through. In most cases, the best choice is through. But if you are in casual conversations or writing formally, you can use thru.

Through and thru are prepositions, adverbs, or adjectives that mean:

  • From beginning to end.
  • During the entire period.
  • From one side to another.

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