1

Can I use “soon” in the following manner?

I had some garlic at lunch and smelled bad. But thankfully, the smell has soon worn off, and I smell fine now.

1

Not quite, but we can adjust the sentence slightly. Given that the person who ate the garlic is currently smelling fine, we should indicate that the smell wore off (quickly) - emphasizing that this process happened and ended in the past.

In the present perfect construction, we are limited in what adverbs of time we may use. 'Soon' is not one of them, but it can be used with a past simple construction, which is what I would suggest to use here.

Let's change it from the present perfect tense:

the smell has [...] worn off

to the past simple tense:

the smell [...] wore off

Your sentence would then read like this:

But thankfully, the smell soon wore off, and I smell fine now.

| improve this answer | |
  • Thank you very much for the reply. I had googled 'have worn off soon' before and found 'the effects of holiday had soon worn off'. So, I thought I could use 'have soon worn off' as well. But apparently not. I wonder what the difference is. I should have mentioned this in the first place. – Still learning English Jun 16 at 2:22
  • I could also have been more specific. We typically use the present perfect (have/has + verb in past tense) when speaking of the recent past in regards to the present. We use the adverb 'soon' in regards to a future event, or a future event in the past. See "Present perfect with time adverbials" on this page for a more thorough explanation. I hope this helps. – Wehage Jun 16 at 9:31
  • Thanks for the clarification and the web page. Hugely helpful! – Still learning English Jun 16 at 15:06

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.