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