early late

When early grammar arrives late

Posted by on October 23rd, 2018 | 0 comments | awal, gapfill, grammar, IELTS, speaking, vocabulary, writing

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!

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

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