When early grammar arrives late

The statistics show that until the early of 2018, Indonesian debt to GDP was below 30%.

It’s good to use early (and it’s opposite – late) to describe an approximate time of year or month. However, there is some grammar to think about.

Adjective and adverb possibilities

Indonesian flag I think our opening example is a direct translation from the Indonesian awal. Unfortunately whereas in Bahasa Indonesia awal can be a noun or an adjective, its English translation – early – is either an adjective or an adverb:

  • The statistics show that until early 2018, Indonesian debt to GDP was below 30%.
  • (adjective affecting 2018)
  • The statistics show that the increase in Indonesian debt to GDP came early in 2018.
  • (adverb affecting come)

Noun possibilities

If you really need a noun, then you might say:

  • The statistics show that until the early weeks of 2018, Indonesian debt to GDP was below 30%.

Alternatively, of course, you can use other nouns such as beginning:

  • The statistics show that until the beginning of 2018, Indonesian debt to GDP was below 30%.

Or, if you’re talking about approximate times of year, it is also possible to divide the year into quarters and use first quarter, second quarter, etc.:

  • The statistics show that until the first quarter of 2018, Indonesian debt to GDP was below 30%.

Finally, if the period you’re talking about is not tied to a specific period, early tends to collocate with certain nouns, in particular stage:

  • The statistics show that in the early stages, Indonesian debt to GDP was below 30%.

Practice

In the passage below, choose between adjectives and adverbs using earl and late!

Select words from the drop-down menus to complete the text. When you have finished, click 'Check your answers!' for feedback.

OK I understand

I was born in 1964. I was born because of  complications during the of pregnancy. It was April, just before the Easter holiday.  A few days later my father took me and my mother home from the hospital. It was morning and he was supposed to be at work. He arrived at work , but everybody at work knew the reason. His boss even allowed him to leave so that my father could spend time with me. Like most babies, I was quite demanding, and my parents often went to sleep and woke the morning!

Answer Key

Answers here, but only if you're really stuck!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>