Soon, Early and Quickly

July 19, 2011pdf

Soon means ‘a short time after now’.

  • Get well soon. (NOT Get well early.)
  • We will launch a new edition of this book sometime soon.

Soon can also mean ‘a short time after then’.

  • It was difficult in the beginning, but I soon got used to it. (NOT It was difficult in the beginning, but I early got used to it.)

Early
Early means ‘near the beginning of a period of time we are talking about’. Early does not mean soon.
Compare:

  • Early this week, I had a strange experience. (NOT Soon this week, I had a strange experience.)
  • He had an accident early this month.
  • He will soon have an accident if he continues to drive like this. (NOT He will early have an accident…)
  • I get up early in the morning. (NOT I get up soon in the morning.)

Early can mean ‘before the expected time’.

  • I arrived early.

Early can be used as an adjective.

  • We will be grateful for an early reply.

Quickly
There is a difference between soon and quickly. We use quickly to refer to the speed with which something is done. Soon means ‘before long’.

  • I got dressed quickly. (= I didn’t take a lot of time to get dressed.)
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