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No sooner did I lie down last night than I fell asleep.
No sooner did I lie down than I fell asleep last night.

Which is better. ? Thanks in advance.

2
  • 1
    Which one came first, the falling asleep or the lying down?
    – MorganFR
    May 27, 2016 at 8:29
  • 4
    Last night, no sooner had/did I ....than... or No sooner had/did i .....than I fell asleep last night. The use of "had" is more common.
    – Khan
    May 27, 2016 at 11:40

2 Answers 2

1

Both sentences have two time definers: no sooner ... than, and last night, and one of them is quite long: this is messy. It would be better to first establish the context, then move on to the specifics of what happened.

Last night, no sooner did I lie down than I fell asleep.

This is not just an issue with no sooner ... than: whenever the specific time defining clause is long, it is better to separate the general time definer.

We went on holiday at the same time as the Smiths last year.
Last year, we went on holiday at the same time as the Smiths.

0

While both are grammatically correct, the use of No sooner...than favors the first sentence (ever so slightly). Here's why.

With the first sentence, the progression of events follows without interruption:

  1. ...when your head hit the pillow...
  2. ...which happened to be last night...
  3. ...you fell asleep.

With the second, however, you interrupt the progression to describe when your head hit the pillow after the fact:

  1. ...when your head hit the pillow...
  2. ...you fell asleep.
  3. ...oh, and this happened to happen last night.

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