It is used to rewrite sentences denoting two simultaneous past actions like ‘As soon as‘
Eg: No sooner did he reach the office than he got a transfer order.
Let’s study the following steps to rewrite sentences.
* First of all, the words ‘As soon as, soon, at once, when, scarcely….when, Hardly…..when, ‘ etc to be avoided.
* ‘No sooner’ should be written in the beginning of the first part of the sentence.
* Change the first part of the sentence into auxiliary beginning interrogative style.
* The first part of the sentence should always be in simple past.
* Then, write the second part of the sentence beginning with ‘than’.
Now let’s try to rewrite the following sentences with ‘No sooner …… than’.
- As soon as my friend explained the matter, I could understand everything.
Ans. No sooner did my friend explain the matter than I could understand everything.
Here, the first part of the sentence is written in auxiliary beginning interrogative style and the second part begins with ‘than’. Also, ‘As soon as’ is avoided.
- Jacob finished his speech. At once, the audience stood up and applaused.
Ans. No sooner did Mr. Jacob finish his speech than the audience stood up and applaused.
Here, the phrase ‘At once’ is avoided.
- Scarcely had he started his exercise when he felt an illness.
Ans. No sooner did he start his exercise than he felt an illness.
Here, ‘Scarcely……when’ is avoided.
As per rule, the first part of the sentence in past perfect tense is changed into simple past tense.
- Hardly had my wife come home when she presented me a birthday gift.
Ans. No sooner did my wife come home than she presented me a birthday gift.
Here, ‘Hardly……when’ is avoided.
And also, the Past perfect form of the first part is changed into simple past tense.