#40 As early as next week! – transcript

Well, we were hoping to get the podcast going as early as last month. But we had to delay it until this week. As you may know here at Venture we’ve been working hard to start a new program for online English training.  We were hoping to start as early as last year, but we ran into some problems. But now we’re really excited because the first class is finally complete. We hope to invite our listeners to have a look as early as next week! 

I’m Paul Preston and this is 3 minute English, a podcast in English about English for English learners. Did you notice I used the phrase “as early as ….” several times. I said “as early as last month,” “ as early as last year” and “as early as next week.”  What does this mean? 

Time phrases like these can be a little confusing. We use this phrase when we want to stress the time stated is surprisingly early. The nuance is that it is earlier than you might expect. So when I said “as early as next week” I am implying that next week is earlier that you would expect.

Of course, we can use this in the past tense too. As in we were hoping to start as early as last year. This implies that the deadline was hopeful, but finally not possible. So it still has the nuance of showing the hopes of the speaker regarding the schedule. 

We use this type of “as/as” comparison to carry this nuance in a few phrases. For example as late as next month has the nuance that next month is later than you might expect. As many as 5000 people listen to the podcast has the nuance that 5000 is more than you might expect. We can also say “as few as”,  “as long as” or “as short as” There are many more examples.

But be careful, this comparison doesn’t always carry this nuance. For example, the sentence “finish this as soon as you can” doesn’t mean sooner than we might expect. It just means “do it soon!” So be careful and listen for the context.  You English is going to sound better! 

If you have a question for me please email me anytime. Just go to the venturenglish webpage and click on the podcasts badge. that’s v-e-n-t-u-r English dot com. I’d love to hear from you. And please leave a comment on the apple podcast or google play store. I’m Paul Preston Thanks for listening to three-minute english.

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