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    #1

    Hardly ... when/before or no sooner than - as used with reference to the present

    Hello everybody!

    I know that it is proper to use the structure "Hardly ... when/before or no sooner than" with reference to the past.

    Would it be possible, however, to use the tructure "Hardly ... when/before or no sooner than" with reference to the present and could I use Present Perfect tense with the structure?

    Hardly have I gone into the shower cabin when the telephone starts ringing. or Hardly do I go into the shower cabin when the telephone starts ringing.

    No sooner have I taken the dog for a walk than he wants to come back. or No sooner do I take the dog for a walk than he wants to come back.

    I am putting this question to you because things do not necessarily happen in the past and there may be reference to the present.

    What do you think?

    Thank you.
    Last edited by JACEK1; 28-Dec-2016 at 16:17.

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    #2

    Re: Hardly ... when/before or no sooner than - as used with reference to the present

    Hardly and no sooner don't work at the beginning. You could say I've hardly gotten under the shower when the phone starts to ring, provided you've been using the historical present in the narrative.

    No sooner should be followed by than: I've no sooner taken the dog for a walk than he wants to go back in. This feels more natural to me, but it also requires that you're already using the historical present.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #3

    Re: Hardly ... when/before or no sooner than - as used with reference to the present

    Yes, you are right but why can't I use hardly and no sooner at the beginning with Present Perfect when it is similar to Past Perfect (have/has past participle vs have/has past participle)? These tenses are similarly constructed, so one could expect that hardly and no sooner will be used in a similar way.

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    #4

    Re: Hardly ... when/before or no sooner than - as used with reference to the present

    The inverted form is old-fashioned with the past perfect, and just feels wrong with the present perfect. Maybe it's because this would be an unusual usage in the present perfect anyway, so the older form strains acceptability.

    Note that tense names are not proper nouns and shouldn't be capitalized.
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  5. Key Member
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    #5

    Re: Hardly ... when/before or no sooner than - as used with reference to the present

    I stand corrected.

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