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  1. Junior Member
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    it/that, sooner/earlier


    please could you explain to me the differences?

    I didn't say it.
    I didn't say that.

    When to use it, when to use that - in general?

    He came earlier.
    He came sooner

    Thank you.

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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    Re: it/that, sooner/earlier

    I didn't say it.
    I didn't say that.

    In that context, it and that are synomyns and refer to the same thing:
    Ex: I didn't say it--that the world was flat.
    Ex: I didn't say that--that the world was flat.
    One difference between it and that,is deixis:
    Ex: I didn't say that (i.e., what you just said).
    Cf. I didn't say it (i.e., what Max said that I said).

    He came earlier than we expected.
    He came sooner than we expected.

    The difference, sooner is a type of deictic word (See deixis above):
    Ex: We asked Max to come at 8 p.m., but he came earlier than we expected--at 7:30 p.m.

    Ex: The doctor said the baby's head was about to crown, but that it would at least another hour before the baby was born; however, the baby came sooner than we expected--10 minutes later.

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