I am so sorry if this is too wordy, but I have to show them.
Most of them are explained by a friend, and I have tried to bold parts that I cannot get. I have problem with the nature of the problems below. what are them? what is the point? could you please show me the concept or solution of the problem more simply?
I think we have come across a language problem. Compare the following sentences.
- 1 The princess was as beautiful as the sun.
- 2 The manufacture of pottery seems to have begun there as early as AD 40. - BNC as early as, 1278
In 1 we have a normal comparison. The princess's beauty is compared with the beauty of the sun and found equal. In 2 we have something else. I have known such formulas ever since my student days and intuitively I can handle them, but I have never tried to clarify the difference between 1 and 2.
At first glance we see that in 1 we have the verb to be and a be-complement (as beautiful as the sun). In 2 "as early as AD 40" is a when-indication. "in AD 40" would do it as well, but "as early as AD 40" contains an additional information. Here I feel I have to think about how to formulate this additional information.
I think it contains a kind of surprise, one would have thought that manufacture of pottery began at a much later time. Or one could say the idea of the "earliness" is emphasized.
In any case 2 does not contain a normal formula of comparison, but a special idiomatic formula used for when-indications or indications of distance. There are more of these formulas: as early as, as soon as, as far as, as far back as and I think one can find some more.
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Any comment or feed-back would greatly be appreciated