- 1in a short time from now; a short time after something else has happened We'll be home soon./We'll soon be home. She sold the house soon after her husband died. I soon realized the mistake. It soon became clear that the program was a failure. (informal) See you soon!
- 2early; quickly How soon can you get here? We'll deliver the goods as soon as we can. Please send it as soon as possible. Next Monday is the soonest we can deliver. They arrived home sooner than expected. The sooner we set off,the sooner we will arrive. All too soon the party was over. see also ASAP Idioms
adverbjump to other results
used in negative sentences and questions to refer to the near future Will she be back anytime soon?
anytime soonjump to other results
used to say that you would equally well like to do something as do something else that has been suggested I'd just as soon stay at home as go out tonight.
I, etc. would just as soon do somethingjump to other results
to prefer to do something (than do something else) She'd sooner share a house with other students than live at home with her parents.
I, etc. would sooner do something (than something else)jump to other results
used to say that something was, or will be, done immediately
no sooner said than donejump to other results
used to say that something happens immediately after something else No sooner had she said it than she burst into tears. Grammarhardly / scarcely / barely / no soonerHardly, scarcely, and barely can all be used to say that something is almost untrue or almost impossible. They are used with words like any and anyone, with adjectives and verbs, and are often placed between can, could, have, be, etc. and the main verb:They have sold hardly any copies of the book. We had scarcely any time between dinner and the show. I barely recognized her. His words were barely audible. I can hardly believe it. I hardly can believe it.Hardly, scarcely, and barely are negative words and should not be used with not or other negatives:I can’t hardly believe it.You can also use hardly, scarcely, and barely to say that one thing happens immediately after another:We had hardly/scarcely/barely sat down at the table, when the phone rang.In formal, written English, especially in a literary style, these words can be placed at the beginning of the sentence and then the subject and verb are turned around:Hardly/Scarcely had we sat down at the table, when the phone rang.Note that you usually use when in these sentences, not than. You can also use before:I scarcely had time to ring the bell before the door opened.No sooner can be used in the same way, but is always used with than:No sooner had we sat down at the table than the phone rang.Hardly and scarcely can be used to mean “almost never,” but barely is not used in this way:She hardly (ever) sees her parents these days. She barely sees her parents these days.
no sooner… than…jump to other results
very soon; as soon as possible “When should I tell him?” “The sooner the better.”
the sooner the betterjump to other results
at some time in the future, even if you are not sure exactly when Sooner or later you will have to make a decision.
sooner or laterjump to other results
after a short time rather than after a long time We urged them to sort out the problem sooner rather than later.
sooner rather than laterjump to other results