[content_band style=”color: #222;” class=”cat-food” bg_color=”#ffffff” border=”horizontal” inner_container=”true”] [container] [column type=”1/6″][/column] [column type=”5/6″ last=”true”]

Early vs. Quickly vs. Soon

[/column] [/container]

Common mistakes

  1. (NG) I’m tired tonight because I woke up soon today.
    1. (OK) I’m tired tonight because I woke up early.
  2. (NG) I just got on the train. I’ll see you early.
    1. (OK) I just got on the train. I’ll see you soon.

Grammar words and phrases in context

I wake up early every morning. That’s because I need to drive to the train station to catch a train. If I wake up late, I have to get dressed quickly and then drive quickly to the station. This morning, when I was on the train, my boss called to say that there was a problem in the office. I told him I would be there soon.


We use early as an adverb to relate to time. Early means at a time before the usual time or before the expected time.

  1. I woke up early today because I had to take my car to the mechanic.
  2. You can’t leave the office early unless you get the ok from the boss.
  3. There was no traffic today, so I got to the office early.

We also use early as an adjective with the same meaning.

  1. If we finish work at 5, we can catch an early movie.
  2. Those flowers usually bloom in the early spring.
  3. It’s my custom to be early for work every morning.


We also use soon to relate the present time to a point in time in the future. Soon means in a short time or after a short time from now.

  1. I’ll be back in town tomorrow, so see you soon.
  2. I think we can soon find out what happened to Bob.
  3. It’s 2pm. The postman should be here soon.

We use the phrase no sooner than to say that the second event happens just after the first event. The second event is generally unexpected.

  1. We had no sooner arrived at the beach than it began raining.
  2. I had no sooner began eating dinner than a salesman came to my door.

*Keep in mind, when the phrase no sooner comes at the beginning of the sentence, we invert the order of the auxiliary verb and subject.

  1. No sooner had I gone to bed than the telephone rang.
  2. No sooner had he started his speech than the microphone malfunctioned.


We use quickly to relate to speed. Quickly means at a fast pace, or without delay. Here are some examples:

  1. It started raining at the beach, so we quickly ran back to the car.
  2. There wasn’t much time for lunch today, so I ate quickly.
  3. The guy at the front desk spoke too quickly. I couldn’t catch what he said.