Archive for September 9, 2010

grammatical expression: the sooner…the (sooner), (better), (happier), etc

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Today I have another good expression for you that is used a lot, especially in conversational English: “the sooner…the…”. The last word can be changed to make various sentences. This expression is used when we want something to be done as soon as possible. It is basically saying that if we do it soon, the situation will be good. For example:

The sooner we leave, the sooner we can get home.

The sooner I get a job, the sooner I’ll be able to pay you back the money I owe you.

The sooner you get a job, the better it will be for you.

A: When should I finish this project by?

B: The sooner the better.

The sooner this movie is over, the happier I’ll be.

The sooner you finish this project, the happier your boss will be.

With this expression, it’s possible to use it with words other than “sooner”, “better”, and “happier” but, in my opinion, these words are the ones most commonly used.

In the fourth example, I used “The sooner the better.” as a complete expression on its own. We can only do this with the word “better”, and it’s used as a reponse to someone’s question asking about when something should happen.

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