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I want to use the phrase "in a timely manner" like this:

Such a timely manner answer!

It is supposed to function as an adjective that describes the noun "answer", but I find it awkward beside the fact that I didn't find a similar structure on the Internet.

According to the result, it comes at the end of the sentence as a standalone phrase:

This answer came out in a timely manner.

So, can I use it as an adjective? And, can "fashion" and "manner" used interchangeably in the phrase?

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Such a timely manner answer!

is so unnatural as to be wrong. i have never heard a fluent speaker say anything of the sort.

The form I believe came first was:

He answered her in a timely manner.

Here "timely manner" functions as an adverbial phrase modifying "answered".

Your other suggestion of

This answer came out in a timely manner.

again has "timely manner" qualifying or describing the action of 'came out".

One could say:

The answer was timely.

or

Such a timely answer.

but in either case I think "prompt" or "quick" or "rapid" would be better than "timely". Strictly speaking, "timely" means "at a particularly appropriate time" rather than "quickly" or "early". For example:

The delivery was timely, we needed the item only five minutes later.

Of course, early or quick response often is appropriate, and so "timely" can often be used for things that are prompt.

Whenever "timely manner" is appropriate, "timely fashion" or "timely way" can be used instead, with no change in meaning.

  • Great answer! Thank you. In the example you have provided, does it mean that they wanted the item in five minutes, and it arrived exactly after five minutes since their order? – Tasneem ZH May 12 at 18:13
  • @Tasneem ZH No I intended the meaning that the item arrived only 5 minutes before it was required for some use. Just in time sourcing, so to speak. – David Siegel May 12 at 22:36
  • So here it means "early" (as you mentioned), but are they saying it in a negative implication? I thought the phrase is only used positively. – Tasneem ZH May 13 at 3:44
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    @Tasneem ZH I did not intend to suggest a negative implication, I intended to say it could be used to mean "not early, not late, at exactly the right time" In general it means "at a good time" but what is good depends on context. – David Siegel May 13 at 14:30
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"Timely" is the meaningful word here.

timely (adj): Done or occurring at a favourable or useful time; opportune.

"Manner" is just a generic noun like "way", or or "thing" -- it doesn't really add much on its own. So something like

a timely answer

would be sufficient to convey the same meaning as, "An answer that came out in a timely manner."

Note: There can be a slight difference in nuance between "a timely manner" and "a timely fashion." "Manner" refers to form, while "fashion" refers to style. It's possible to suggest that something in a "timely manner" occurs in an effective way, but something in a "timely fashion" occurs with panache.

  • Thank you for this beneficial answer, Andrew! I'm having trouble getting how "delightful overconfidence" would describe "timely fashion", I think this is because it is a new word to me. – Tasneem ZH May 12 at 18:19

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