Soon and Early - English Conversation Tutorials - Confusing English Words

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In this lesson, we will learn how to use ‘soon’ and ‘early’ in different contexts.

Talking About ‘Soon’ and ‘Early’.

Martha: Hello, everybody! Today we’ll see how to use ‘soon’ and ‘early’. They both refer to moments in time.

Shaun: Do we use them in the same way?

Martha: No. The word ‘soon’ refers to the near future. When your mother says she will call you soon, it means that a short period of time will pass before she calls you.

Shaun: I see. Sometimes, people say ‘as soon as possible’. What does that mean?

Martha: It means that something has to happen promptly, without hesitation.

Shaun: Can we say that ‘soon’ means something will happen after a minute or a specific period of time?

Martha: No. Remember that time is relative.

Shaun: Ok. So, if I say I’ll have dinner soon, it’s different than if I say that someone will have a baby soon.

Martha: Right! Having dinner soon could be 15 or 30 minutes. Having a baby soon could be one or two weeks, maybe a month.

Shaun: And how do we use ‘early’?

Martha: Well, ‘early’ means something will happen near the beginning of a series, period of time, or course of events.

Shaun: Oh, I get it. My family usually travels to the South early in the winter.

Martha: Right. And it can also mean ‘before the expected or usual time’. My class begins at 8am, I arrive at 7:45am. That means I arrive early.

Shaun: Let’s take a look at some examples.

Scheduling an Appointment.

Denise: Hello. Dr. Norbert’s office. This is Denise.

Megan: Good morning, Denise. My name is Megan Roth, and I’m Dr. Norbert’s patient. I’d like to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

Denise: Let me see…Megan Roth, here you are. How does Tuesday sound?

Megan: Perfect! Can I schedule for early in the morning?

Denise: Well, the earliest free time we have is 10am.

Megan: Ok…if I arrive early and someone cancels, can the doctor see me earlier than 10?

Denise: Yes. If you are here waiting and we have a no-show or cancellation, the doctor will see you earlier.

Handing in a Report at Work.

Denise: Hi, Megan. Mr. Curtis wants to see you as soon as you finish the weekly financial report.

Megan: Good morning, Denise. I’m still working on it, but it’ll be ready soon.

Denise: Do you know how soon? He seemed nervous.

Megan: About 30 minutes…

Denise: I think that’ll be Ok.

Megan: If you help me, we can finish sooner.

Denise: No problem. What do you need? I’ll give you a hand.

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