Word Confusion: Threw versus Through

Posted December 12, 2016 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Editing, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Who knew someone could confusion threw and through? Sure, they’re heterographs and sound alike, but oh boy…

I could go through reams of words, but then I threw it up into the ether. What the heck. Y’all can read through everything below…and then throw it away, if you like.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

If you found this post on “Threw versus Through” interesting, consider tweeting it to your friends. Subscribe to KD Did It, if you’d like to track this post for future updates.

Return to top

Threw Through
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: threw; Free Dictionary: threw

A pen-and-ink comic of a stool hitting a man in the head

“Jenny Threw a Stool at His Head” by Edgar Wilson “Bill” Nye is in the public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


Graphic sign on a blue background with a Y-branching white sign and a red block indicating that the left arm deadends

“Mauritius Road Information Signs: No Through Road” is Kingroyos’ own work under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons

Don’t take the road to the left, as it doesn’t go through. You’re better off taking the right through road.

Part of Grammar:
Past tense of throw


Noun is throw;
Verb, intransitive & transitive

Third person present verb: throws
Past participle: thrown
Gerund or present participle: throwing

Adjective; Adverb 3; Preposition 3
Noun:
As throw does not have a threw form, I’m not including its definition or examples.

Verb, intransitive:
To cast, fling, or hurl a missile or the like.

Verb, transitive:
Propel something with force through the air by a movement of the arm and hand

  • Push or force someone or something violently and suddenly into a particular physical position or state
  • Put in place or erect quickly
  • Move a part of the body quickly or suddenly in a particular direction
  • Project or cast light or shadow in a particular direction
  • Deliver a punch
  • Direct a particular kind of look or facial expression
  • Project one’s voice so that it appears to come from someone or something else, as in ventriloquism
  • [Throw something off/on] Put on or take off a garment hastily
  • Move a switch or lever so as to operate a device
  • [Game] Roll dice
  • Obtain a specified number by rolling dice
  • [Informal] Lose a race or contest intentionally, especially in return for a bribe

Cause to enter suddenly a particular state or condition

  • Put someone in a particular place or state, especially in a rough, abrupt, or summary fashion
  • Disconcert
  • Confuse
  • [Informal] To baffle or astonish

Send one’s opponent to the ground in wrestling, judo, or similar activity

  • [Of a horse] Unseat its rider
  • [Of a horse] Lose a shoe
  • [Of an animal] Give birth to young, of a specified kind

Form ceramic ware on a potter’s wheel

  • Turn wood or other material on a lathe
  • Twist silk or other fabrics into thread or yarn

Have a fit or tantrum

Give or hold a party

Adjective:
[Attrib.; of a means of public transportation or a ticket] Continuing or valid to the final destination

[Attrib.] Denoting traffic that passes from one side of a place to another in the course of a longer journey

  • Denoting a road that is open at both ends, allowing traffic free passage from one end to the other

[Attrib.; of a room] Running the whole length of a building

[Predic.; informal] Having no prospect of any future relationship, dealings, or success

Adverb:
Moving in one side and out of the other side of an opening, channel, or location

  • So as to make a hole or opening in a physical object
  • Moving around or from one side to the other within a crowd or group
  • So as to be perceived from the other side of an intervening obstacle
  • Expressing the extent of turning from one orientation to another

Continuing in time toward completion of a process or period

  • So as to complete a particular stage or trial successfully
  • From beginning to end of (an experience or activity, typically a tedious or stressful one)

So as to inspect all or part of a collection, inventory, or publication

  • By means of an intermediary or agent)

So as to be connected by telephone

Preposition:
Moving in one side and out of the other side of an opening, channel, or location

  • So as to make a hole or opening in a physical object
  • Moving around or from one side to the other within a crowd or group
  • So as to be perceived from the other side of an intervening obstacle
  • Expressing the position or location of something beyond or at the far end of an opening or an obstacle
  • Expressing the extent of turning from one orientation to another

Continuing in time toward completion of a process or period

  • So as to complete a particular stage or trial successfully
  • From beginning to end of (an experience or activity, typically a tedious or stressful one)

So as to inspect all or part of a collection, inventory, or publication

[North American] Up to and including a particular point in an ordered sequence

By means of a process or intermediate stage

  • By means of an intermediary or agent
Examples:
Verb, intransitive:
She threw up again, sick and weak (Your Dictionary).

Verb, transitive:
The last question on the test paper threw me.

I threw a brick through the window.

A uniformed guard threw open the door and entered the room.

The stewards threw a cordon across the fairway.

She threw her head back and laughed.

A chandelier threw its bright light over the walls.

“Ouch…he really threw a punch,” he said, as he fingered his jaw.

She threw a withering glance at him.

Jamie threw his voice and made them think someone was coming in from the other side of the room.

I threw on my housecoat and went to the door.

Peter threw the lever and turned the machine off.

He threw a seven!

Turns out the jockey threw the race to get his wife medical treatment.

He threw all her emotions into turmoil.

The bond market was thrown into confusion.

These guys should be thrown in jail.

Kevin threw her by this apparent change of tack.

Jokester threw Mary at that last fence.

Charity threw a shoe.

Ol’ Maggie sometimes threw a completely black calf.

Further on, a potter was throwing pots.

Yep, Johnny threw this wooden bowl for me.

Gabby threw another fit.

You missed that great party Hank and Edna threw last week.

Adjective:
George and Hannah took a through train from Boston.

There weren’t many neighborhoods from which through traffic would be excluded.

The shopping center is on a busy through road.

The hall ran through the entire length of the house.

She told him she was through with him.

You and I are through.

The bullet was a through-and-through.

Adverb:
As soon as we opened the gate, they came streaming through.

It was only a cucumber, slit, but not all the way through.

The glass in the front door where the moonlight streamed through was cleaned last week.

He showed up halfway through the second act.

I will struggle through alone rather than ask for help.

Karl will see you through, Ingrid.

She read the letter through carefully.

He put a call through to the senator.

Preposition:
She had some nerve, stepping so boldly through the doorway.

The truck smashed through a brick wall.

Janie was making her way through the guests.

The sun was streaming in through the window.

The approach to the church is through a gate.

Each joint can move through an angle within fixed limits.

He showed up halfway through the second act.

She had come through her sternest test.

We sat through some very boring speeches.

She’s been through a bad time.

We found him flipping through the pages of a notebook.

They will be in town from March 24 through May 7.

Dioxins get into mothers’ milk through contaminated food.

We are seeking justice through the proper channels.

Derivatives:
Adjective: throwable
Noun: upthrow
Verb: misthrow, misthrew, misthrown, misthrowing
Adjective: throughother
Adverb: throughother, throughout
Noun: throughball, throughflow, throughfall, throughput, throughway, thruway
Preposition: throughout
Phrasal Verb
throw money around
throw oneself at
throw oneself on
throw oneself upon
throw someone out
throw someone over
throw something away
throw something in
throw oneself into
throw people together
throw something off
throw something open
throw something out
throw something together
throw something up
throw up
History of the Word:
1 Old English thrāwan meaning to twist, turn and related to the Dutch draaien and German drehen, from an Indo-European root shared by the Latin terere meaning to rub, the Greek teirein meaning wear out.

2 Sense 1 of the verb, expressing propulsion and sudden action, dates from Middle English.

3 Old English thurh is of Germanic origin and related to the Dutch door and German durch. The spelling change to thr- appears c. 1300, becoming standard from Caxton (one of the first printers in England in the late 1400s and determined to standardize English) onward.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

Return to top

Pinterest Photo Credits:

“Défenestration” is under the CC0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.


Leave a Reply