No sooner than is used to show an immediate action after another is completed with minimum time gap. So, the proper understanding of no sooner..than in comparison with as soon as is inevitable…
As soon as Vs No sooner.. than
In the previous blog, we learnt that as soon as is used to express or show an immediate action after another has completed.
For clearity, let’s take as soon as to express first action between two in sequence.
•For example, I will help you as soon as I finish my work.
Here, as soon as I finish my work is the action that going to trigger another action.
But, the fate of “I will help you” depends on the “as soon as I finish my work.” As soon as is used to show minimum time gap between two actions.
On the other hand, No sooner..than, is used to express or show the first action generally in the past.
It is common rule that if you are using two actions in the past tense, then one should be used in the perfect and other in the simple past to make correct sense.
•As a example, No sooner had our motor left tunnel than the wall collapsed.
In this sentence, “we left tunnel” is the first action, and, “the wall collapsed” second in sequence.
“No sooner..than” is used to express negligible time gap between two actions, even less than “as soon as.”
Difference in position
“As soon as” is used earlier or before noun or pronoun in the sentence.
Further, it can also be used in the middle or at the beginning of sentence.
But, will isn’t applicable with “as soon as.”
On the other hand, “No sooner..than” is always used before the verb or auxiliaries.
Besides, “than” is placed at the beginning of second sentence.
Usually, comma is not used in the “No sooner than” but applicable in ‘as soon as’ when it used at the beginning.
Hardly..when and Scarcely..when
Both are used in the same manner as the “No sooner than” but for greater time gap.
The hidden meaning of hardly and scarcely is like “just for a moment.
Theirs position isn’t different from ‘no sooner’ than but degree of time gap is more compare to both “as soon as” and “no sooner than.”
Some useful examples of as soon as, no sooner than, and hardly when
Comparative examples of as soon as, no sooner…than, hardly…when, and scarcely…when.
As soon as
•I will inform you as soon as the train arrives.
•As soon as they entered in the forest, they heard a roar.
•As soon as police reached at the spot, theif ran away.
No sooner than
•No sooner had the train arrived than I informed you.
•No sooner did the train arrive than I informed you.
•No sooner had they entered in the forest than they heard a roar.
•No sooner did they enter in the forest than they heard a roar.
•No sooner had the police reached at the spot than the thief ran away.
•No sooner did the police reach at the spot than the thief ran away.
•Hardly had the police reached at the spot when the thief ran away.
•Hardly had they entered in the forest when they heard a roar.
•Scarcely had the bus left bridge when the bridge collapsed.
•These are some examples for understanding the meaning and position of given conjunctions.
•In the next blog, I will bring you time conjunctions -“before and after.”