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  1. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #1

    soon vs. early

    In a test, I came across this question:

    I have to go _________. My wife is expecting me to help her with the dinner. I'll see you at eight.

    1. early
    2. soon

    I chose 1), but the test says that only 2) is possible. What do you think, is 1) unnatural English? IMO a native speaker of English might say something like "I have to go early because me wife wants me to help her".
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

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    #2

    Re: soon vs. early

    When you invite me to come to your house, I may say "OK, but I have to leave early because..."

    At the moment you are talking about leaving, then you say "I have to leave soon..."

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    #3

    Re: soon vs. early

    Well, if you know the difference between them, you will agree that both make sense in the context:
    Early means "a head of (the arranged or usual) time" so if you leave work at 5 every day, you may want to leave early today, which means before 5.
    Soon means some time after now or in the near future. In most contexts both make sense but you have to bear this distinction in mind.Here,the context isn't enough to rule out on of the alternatives.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: soon vs. early

    Quote Originally Posted by paul.moss View Post
    Well, if you know the difference between them, you will agree that both make sense in the context:
    Early means "a head of (the arranged or usual) time" so if you leave work at 5 every day, you may want to leave early today, which means before 5.
    Soon means some time after now or in the near future. In most contexts both make sense but you have to bear this distinction in mind.Here,the context isn't enough to rule out on of the alternatives.
    Both are possible in the right context. It's a bad test question IMO.

  3. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: soon vs. early

    What if we added "In a pub:" before the first sentence so that it would look like this: "In a pub: I have to go _________." The rest of the question remains the same. Are still both "early" and "soon" correct answers? I think so, but my teacher disagrees.
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  4. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: soon vs. early

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    What if we added "In a pub:" before the first sentence so that it would look like this: "In a pub: I have to go _________." The rest of the question remains the same. Are still both "early" and "soon" correct answers? I think so, but my teacher disagrees.
    In that case, while both are possible, "soon" is the most likely.

  5. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: soon vs. early

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    In that case, while both are possible, "soon" is the most likely.

    I think that if I were to use "early" the situation might be as follows:
    A and B have just entered the pub and seated themselves.
    A says to B: I know that we often hang out here till midnight but today I have to go early. My wife is expecting me to help her with the dinner. I'll see you at eight.

    If I wanted to use "early", the context would change:
    A and B have been sitting in the pub for a few hours.
    A says to B: It's already 5 o'clock! I have to go soon. My wife is expecting me to help her with the dinner. I'll see you at eight.

    Supposing my examples are correct, why is using "soon" more likely?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  6. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: soon vs. early

    NOT A TEACHER

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    What if we added "In a pub:" before the first sentence so that it would look like this: "In a pub: I have to go _________." The rest of the question remains the same. Are still both "early" and "soon" correct answers? I think so, but my teacher disagrees.
    I think the reason why "soon" is more likely than "early" is because "soon" means "in a short period from now" and early means "before the usual, arranged time" (I'm paraphrasing entries from Longman). When one says in pub, 'I have to go .....,' one usually just means "in a short period of time" and not before a certain arranged time. You usually don't a arrange a fixed time at which you always leave the pub.

  7. CarloSsS's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: soon vs. early

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    NOT A TEACHER



    I think the reason why "soon" is more likely than "early" is because "soon" means "in a short period from now" and early means "before the usual, arranged time" (I'm paraphrasing entries from Longman). When one says in pub, 'I have to go .....,' one usually just means "in a short period of time" and not before a certain arranged time. You usually don't a arrange a fixed time at which you always leave the pub.
    Thank you. What do you think about my examples?
    Please note that I'm not a teacher.

  8. Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: soon vs. early

    Quote Originally Posted by CarloSsS View Post
    Thank you. What do you think about my examples?
    I think they're fine. Let's see if there are other opinions.
    Last edited by Chicken Sandwich; 23-Aug-2012 at 16:39. Reason: ---

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