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    • Join Date: Jul 2008
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    #1

    the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    This is a case from my friend in sales department. As there should be a reasonable lead time ( from the order date to the shipment date) for production, it is impossible for the factory to offer the customer a date prior to the confirmed date in PO (such as Aug-25th). And he needs to reply the customer about it via email. I prefer to suggest him to use free translation such as "I'm afraid the Aug-25th is not acceptable " or "We cannot finish it prior to Aug-25th" But he insists on literal translation as per his word order "The Aug-25th is the soonest date" Then the problem happens. The other people translate it to "The Aug-25th is the fastest date " or "the earliest date" Although I am not a native speaker , I know the soonest should be the correct one while but I cannot explain it Personally speaking, I dislike the mode of thinking of them because the purpose of language is a tool for communication ,not insisting on his own word order


    • Join Date: May 2008
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    #2

    Re: the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    The fastest date is incorrect; a date cannot be described in such a way.

    The soonest date is ungrammatical.

    The earliest date
    seems best to me.

    Aug 25th is the earliest date that we can guarantee this product will be availible.


    I am not a teacher.


    • Join Date: Nov 2007
    • Posts: 5,409
    #3

    Re: the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    for what it is worth, this native speaker agrees.

  1. Soup's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    The fastest date is incorrect; a date cannot be described in such a way.

    The soonest date is ungrammatical.

    The earliest date
    seems best to me.

    Aug 25th is the earliest date that we can guarantee this product will be availible.


    I am not a teacher.
    This teacher agrees.


    • Join Date: Jul 2008
    • Posts: 23
    #5

    Re: the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    Quote Originally Posted by colloquium View Post
    The fastest date is incorrect; a date cannot be described in such a way.

    The soonest date is ungrammatical.

    The earliest date
    seems best to me.

    Aug 25th is the earliest date that we can guarantee this product will be available.


    I am not a teacher.
    THANK YOU VERY MUCH

    In fact, I do think this is a culture difference because the Chinese word (character) for describing the meaning of fast, quick , also has the meaning of early .

    Would you please show me a sample sentence with correct usage on "soonest"?

    I just found a sentence the soonest I can arrive is 3 P.M.
    From this sentence, it seems that the soonest cannot be used as adjective while the soonest is equal to the probable earliest time

    (I seldom use this word in my everyday work because I have other correct ways to express the same meaning)

  2. Soup's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    From soonest - definition of soonest by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.

    Adv. 1. soonest - with the least delay; The soonest that ...

    From superlative - definition of superlative by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.
    Ex: We'll go by different roads to see who will arrive (the) soonest / most quickly.

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    #7

    Re: the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    How about saying that the order cannot be shipped prior to Aug. 25?

    Yes, that is the soonest it can be ready


    • Join Date: Jul 2008
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    #8

    Re: the difference between "fastest" and"soonest"

    To All Of My Friends

    Thank You Very Much!

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