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The moment I met her, I fell in love.

This sentence conveys the meaning that the speaker met a woman and immediately fell in love and looks to be grammatically correct to my eyes.

Now if we changed that sentence to The moment I met her, I soon fell in love., the meaning changes. It now means the speaker met this woman, and not immediately, but soon after, fell in love with her. The sentence sounds weirder than the first one, less idiomatic, but is this second sentence necessarily grammatically incorrect?

We say "the moment x happened/happens, y happened/happens." , but if we said the moment x happened, y soon happened, does the insertion of soon render the sentence grammatically incorrect?

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It might be grammatically correct in that the tenses agree and there's no obvious error, but semantically the sentence is nonsensical.

"The moment X happened, Y happened" states that X and Y happened pretty much simultaneously, with no time between the two actions. "Soon" means that a short but non-zero length of time has passed.

So it's either "The moment I met her, I fell in love" - which means that you fell in love at the very moment you've met her - or "After I met her, I soon fell in love", which means that it took you a short time to do so.

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  • How about this: the moment I met her, soon after, I fell in love? – Soumya Ghosh Jul 21 '20 at 11:13
  • @SoumyaGhosh it still has the same problem of trying to simultaneously say that things happened at the same time and that they didn't. Just don't use the phrase "the moment I met her" - it simply isn't true in your context. – Maciej Stachowski Jul 21 '20 at 11:21

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