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It was right/shortly after the divorce so I wasn't myself at the time, but that's not an excuse to behave like that.

  1. If we're talking a few weeks after the divorce, would you use "right" or "shortly"?

  2. If it happened five months ago, is it natural to say "at the time"?

  3. Is the whole statement natural?

Thank you.

2 Answers 2

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Right after is more immediate than shortly after. So, in your context, I would use shortly. Both of them are imprecise terms and might be interchangeable in many contexts. It depends on the degree of immediacy you want to convey.

Yes, at the time can refer to any time in the past, or even to a period of weeks or months. For example a person might refer back to an illness suffered during student days and say at the time the cause was not known.

The statement is natural but a bit clumsy with double thats in the second clause. You might prefer: but that's not an excuse to misbehave.

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It depends on the time between the divorce and the incident. I would usually prefer "shortly after", as "right after" usually means that nothing (or nothing much) happened in between. "At the time" is fine. The whole thing seems quite natural to me.

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