Understanding no sooner than

“No sooner than” conjunction of time is used to describe an action that is followed by another action with minimum time gap. Simply, two interrelated actions in which one follows just completed one. Certainly, it looks a bit of confusing. So, understanding no sooner than seems essential.

  • “No sooner had our motor left tunnel than the wall collapsed.”

Where and how to use no sooner than

  1. No sooner than is subordinating conjunctions of time.
  2. Used to describe sequence of events with minimum time gap.
  3. Comma is omitted in the no sooner than sentences.
  4. Right sequence of tenses is utmost important.
  5. No sooner than is used before the verb or auxiliaries.

1. No sooner than subordinating conjunction of time

It is a subordinating conjunctions of time. It is used to express time gap of two events or actions in sequence.

No sooner than cannot stand on its own to construct meaning. Hence it need to depends on main clause.

  • “No sooner had our motor left tunnel than the wall collapsed.”
  • Mere “Our motor left tunnel” cannot make complete sense.
  • Also comma is omitted.
  • No sooner is placed before auxiliary or verb.
  • 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.

2. Correct sequence of tense — perfect — simple..

Unlike as soon as, 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.

  • No sooner had our motor left tunnel than the wall collapsed.
  • No sooner had they entered in the forest than they heard a roar.

Here, “We left tunnel” is the first action in perfect past, and, “the wall collapsed” second in simple past in sequence.

3. Position of no sooner than in the sentence

“No sooner than” is used before the verb or auxiliary verbs.

  • 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

4. As soon as Vs No

sooner.. than..

Both no sooner than and as soon as used to describe events in sequence with minimum time gap. But..

No sooner than is more sharper in sequence. In other words, no sooner than is used for negligible time gap compare to “As soon as”

  •  I will help you as soon as I finish my work. Seems average intensity in events.
  • No sooner did the police reach at the spot than the thief ran away. Here, more intensity is evident.

“No sooner than” is placed before verbs and auxiliary verbs. Whereas, “As soon as” is placed before noun or pronouns.

  • No sooner did the police reach at the spot than the thief ran away — before “Did”
  • I will help you as soon as I finish my work. Seems average intensity in events. before “I” pronoun.

Besides,  “Than” is placed at the beginning of second sentence.

And, 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 very lesser 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 lesser compare to both “as soon as” and “no sooner than.”

 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

  • 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 when

  • Scarcely had the bus left bridge when the bridge collapsed.

All these are essential for proper understanding no sooner than..

Adverbial complements

Explanation of cumulative conjunction

Argument and critical thinking

Adversative coordinating conjunctions

Conjunctions for alternative choices

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTkyAZY15L6UOEUl3y85XYw/