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What it means

Posted by R. Berg on November 20, 2004

In Reply to: Re: No sooner and word order inversion posted by TheFallen on November 19, 2004

: : : : : This sentence should actually be re-phrased; "No sooner I'd walked into my office this morning, that I saw my boss waiting for me"
: : : : : SL Don
: : : : : : : Could anyone tell me the meaning of *I'd no sooner walked into the office this morning that I saw my boss waiting for me"?

: : : : : : : Thanks

: : : : I think the original sentence reads more clearly if "than" is substituted for "that". That is, "I'd no sooner walked into the office this morning THAN I saw my boss waiting for me".

: : : : : : I'd just arrived at the office and I saw my boss was waiting for me. Or "...my boss was already waiting for me."

: : : I thought it was going to be a discussion of strange comparisons like "I'd no sooner post on a forum than I'd have Michael Jackson babysit"

: : : "No sooner" is an expression of future negative comparison whereas the norm is "as soon as" is used for "immediately upon".

: : I have finally recalled where I heard the expression used - "Blackadder" series 3 - "Amy and Amiability" - bluff northern mill-owner says something like "I'd no sooner let my little girl go to an unworthy man than I'd put my wedding-tackle into" [? a mincer ?]

: : Knew it was literary...

: : L

: To be strictly correct, the construction "No sooner ... than" causes a subject/auxiliary verb word order inversion when the sentence starts with "No sooner". So... "No sooner had I walked/did I walk into my office than I saw my boss waiting for me."

To answer the original question, the sentence means that I saw my boss waiting for me as soon as I walked into the office.