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This question already has an answer here:

Would you please rephrase the bold part on such a way that i could get it better? or would you rephrase the bold part in another way?

Or, does this phrase mean before?

The money could be paid as early as next week. He started writing music as early as 1980.

If the idiom as early as is the same as early, could we rephrase the following sentence with it?

Early booking is essential. as space is limited.

Or, what is the difference between these?

I wake up as early ay as 6 o'clock

I wake up at 6 o'clock

Thanks in advance

marked as duplicate by Maciej Stachowski, Laure, Lucian Sava, Manish Giri, Chenmunka Oct 13 '14 at 11:46

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

  • Couldn't this question be merged with this earlier one by same OP? They are not essentially different. – Laure Oct 13 '14 at 8:42
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"The money could be paid as early as next week" does not mean that the money will be paid before next week. Rather, it means the opposite. It means that the money will possibly be paid next week, or possibly later.

"Early booking is essential as space is limited" could be written as "Space is limited, so book as early as possible". Here again, it doesn't mean you should book before it becomes possible to book, but rather it means you should book when it becomes possible to do so, and not after.

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When you see "as" + adjective|adverb + "as" + {limiting phrase} for example

This amplifier-loudspeaker combo can produce sounds as loud as ____ decibels.

you can recast the sentence:

The loudest this amplifier-loudspeaker combo can produce sounds is ___ decibels.

With your example:

The earliest this money could be paid is next week.

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