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    • Join Date: Dec 2005
    • Posts: 417
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    Smile sooner

    My friends arrived sooner than I expected. Can I use "earlier" instead of "sooner"?

  1. angliholic's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • Taiwan
      • Current Location:
      • Taiwan

    • Join Date: Feb 2007
    • Posts: 2,988
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    Re: sooner

    My friends arrived earlier than I expected.

    If you are not sure of it, let's substitute earlier for sooner in the context and observe.
    Grammatically, it's all right. For me, it makes no difference in meaning. As for subtle nuances in meaning, let's wait for other members' comments.

    • Join Date: May 2006
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    Re: sooner

    I also think they are interchangeable here. The difference is that sooner means it took them less time to arrive than the speaker had expected while earlier only refers to the moment of the arrival.

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