Sign up ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have heard this expression "It won't be soon enough" quite often, in fact more often than simply "It won't be soon". I wonder if the word "enough" in the first one adds some additional meaning to the phrase. I haven't been able to detect any difference in meaning between the two.

Perhaps I am wrong, but according to my observations, "enough" seems to go along well with "be", while dropping "enough" seems to be more common for other verbs, for example, "It won't happen soon", "It won't arrive soon" and so on.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Soon means in a short period of time, while soon enough means in a sufficiently short period of time. If something won't happen soon, we expect it to take quite a while to happen. If something won't happen soon enough, we expect it will only happen when it is too late, for example past a deadline.

share|improve this answer
WOW!!! Thank you for shedding light on this one. I had no idea that the difference was so big! – brilliant Dec 17 '11 at 6:14

protected by tchrist Aug 25 at 22:59

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality answers, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site.

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.