1

Scarcely is usually combined with When but in the following line why does not it happens so?

Scarcely had the small streamer bearing Mustafa Kamal entered the Black Sea than the authorities of Istanbul became suspicious of his intentions and issued orders for the ship to be intercepted.

3

It's a good example of inversion and I want to answer this question because it made me brush up on my knowledge.

Generally speaking, "than" can be either a preposition or a conjunction. However, the former is more familiar to the learners, me included.

Regarding your sentence, it's one of typical usage of "than" as a conjunction. In such cases, than is used to convey that something happens straight after the other one.

"scarcely was the work completed than it was abandoned."

  • @Cardinal...if than is used to convey that something happens straight after the other one. then what does scarcely...when represents?isn't when & than convey same meaning whenever they combined with scarcely? – M.Naeem Ahmad Jun 22 '17 at 9:43
  • 2
    @M.NaeemAhmad I think both work fine. I don't see any significant difference between "when the authorities of ..." and "than the authorities of ..". But you should know that I am not a native person and there may be some slight difference. – Cardinal Jun 22 '17 at 9:48

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