No sooner ……than

When two events happened in a quick sussession, especially with the second event happening immediately after the first, we usually use the above mentioned expression to separate them in the form:

No sooner had A than B, where A and B are independent clauses.

Examples:

1. No sooner had we arrived at the airport than the plane left. [ We arrived at the airpot and immediately after, the plane left, or as soon as we arrived at the airport, the plane left]

2. No sooner had the thief left than we entered.[ The thief left and immediately after, we entered, or as soon as the thief left, we entered]

BE WARNED! No sooner goes with than not when, so it is incorrect to say: No sooner had we arrived at the airport when the plane left.

You can also use ‘did‘ in place of ‘had‘ in the expression. E.g: No sooner did we arrive at the airport than the plane left.[ Take note after did, the verb should be in the infinitive form as can be seen in this example; did we arrive, not did we arrived]

OTHER EXPRESSIONS TO USE IN PLACE OF NO SOONER……THAN.

1. Hardly ………when

2. Scarcely……..when

Examples:

1. Hardly had we arrived at the airport when the plane left.

2. Scarcely had we arrived at the airport when the plane left.

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