Early / Earlier

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jack

Senior Member
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Apr 24, 2004
What do these mean?
1. I left my house 30 minutes earlier so I wouldn't be late for work.
2. I left my house 30 minutes early so I wouldn't be late for work.

3. I left my house 30 minutes early so I wouldn't be late for work.
4. I left my house 30 minutes early so I won't be late for work.
What's the difference in meaning between #3 and #4? Which one should I use?
 

Casiopea

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jack said:
What do these mean?
1. I left my house 30 minutes earlier so I wouldn't be late for work. :D
2. I left my house 30 minutes early so I wouldn't be late for work. :D

In 1., 'earlier', notice the -ed, functions as a comparative, like this,

I left my house 30 minutes earlier than usual, so I wouldn't be late.

In 2., 'early' modified the verb 'left'.

jack said:
3. I left my house 30 minutes early so I wouldn't be late for work. :D
4. I left my house 30 minutes early so I won't be late for work. :(

In 4., 'won't' is a contraction of 'will not'. The problem with 4. is that 'will' refers to the future, whereas 'left' refers to the past. Both verbs should be in the past or in the future, like this,

I left..., so I would not.... (Past) :D
I will leave..., so I will not.... (Future) :D
 
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