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The meaning of idiom not a moment too soon is almost too late
It is used as-

The ambulance arrived not a moment too soon.

If I form the sentence in the following-

The ambulance did not arrive a moment too soon.

Would this be grammatical or idiomatic?

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When expressing the idea of something happening only just in time, it is perfectly acceptable to say "The ambulance didn't (or did not) arrive too soon, or a moment too soon". One is not restricted to the form "[something happened] not a moment too soon". One can say that something didn't happen a moment too soon.

  • But for hissing audiences, it didn't happen a moment too soon. But before this picture, Fox had given Donlevy the opportunity to play comedy on screen. (Gunmen and Gangsters: Profiles of Nine Actors Who Portrayed Memorable Screen Tough Guys By Michael Schlossheimer)

  • It didn't happen a moment too soon. President Yeltsin was not exaggerating when he likened the current situation in his country... (LA Times)

  • And the change didn't happen a moment too soon. (Baltimore Sun)

  • ... sin has won in the Middle Atlantic states, and the response of the populace suggests that it didn't happen a moment too soon. (Aiken Standard)

  • Yoenis Cespedes' bat and Steven Matz's left arm didn't arrive a moment too soon. (New York Post)

  • His suitability as a flirtatious Irish stable hand is hard to see – all told, The Maltese Falcon (1940) didn't arrive a moment too soon. (UK Daily Telegraph - very strict on style)

  • It didn't arrive a moment too soon for worried residents of Seward (Chicago Tribune)

  • I did find this in the UK Metro (a free newspaper): "And it doesn't look like it wasn't a moment too soon for the 25-year-old Little Mix singer and her Liverpool footballer boyfriend." Clearly the writer got in a muddle about the litotes aspect and decided to sprinkle plenty of negation into the mix. – Michael Harvey Mar 31 at 12:24
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It's less common--and less preferable in my opinion--to place not in front of arrive, in the case of your example, because a reader will likely become distracted by the idea that the ambulance did not arrive at all.

It is more clearly and carefully used like this:

The ambulance arrived not a moment too soon.

It is even more common to include and in the expression. Something like:

Then the ambulance arrived. And not a moment too soon, for she was about to die.

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