So, as silly as this may sound, I'm going through a phase where basically the most simple things that I once was able to say without even thinking about them, seem to have started to get foggier and foggier in my head. The issue here is now the use of "after" and "before when" in one sentence, for instance in the following sentence:

The ban was lifted only after two weeks from when it was put in place.

Now, I am well aware that there are way simpler ways of saying the same thing and getting across the same meaning and that this just sounds a bit awkward even if it's grammatically correct , however I can't help but wonder if the use of these two words together is correct or not.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

BTW, while we're at it, if you've ever experienced anything like what I described on the top, please let me know if you overcame it and everything went back to normal after a while or if it was the start of forgetting the language for you. That is, of course, if that language wasn't your mother tongue.


1 Answer 1


Your initial discomfort with

The ban was lifted only after two weeks from when it was put in place.

likely stems from only after usually meaning "not until."

Only after two weeks of intensive training were the nurses allowed to use the new procedure.

This makes sense because only modifies the entire prepositional phrase, not merely the time expression.

Some nurses, however, had mastered the procedure after only three days.

Here, I'm commenting on the relative brevity of the three days compared to the two weeks, which more accurately reflects the situation in your example sentence:

The ban was lifted after only two weeks from when it was put in place.

It has been said that the skill in playing a musical instrument is the only thing that degenerates more quickly without practice than active skills in a second language. If you are regularly using those skills, then you will not lose them.

  • yup, that may well be why it sounds a bit strange, but from what I can gather from your response, you think that using these words together like this is not completely wrong as such, but just unpleasant to the ear. @KarlG . I guess the problem is , for the most part rooted in the fact that I don't use the language all that much anymore.
    – Ana
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 13:08
  • The reader can quickly infer the intended meaning, but only after discarding the meaning of "not until." (See what I did there?) I'd say the adverb has been placed incorrectly. Using after only with from when accentuates the duration slightly more than saying after only two weeks after having been put in place as well as avoiding two after's and a past passive participle.
    – KarlG
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 13:20
  • 1
    ‘The ban was lifted only two weeks after it was put in place’ might be easier on your tired ears, Ana!
    – Jelila
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 13:40
  • @Jelila: Exactly. Main point being the adverb comes right before what it is to modify: the time expression and not the whole prep. phrase.
    – KarlG
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 13:45
  • I see your both your points, but like I said, sometimes I just can't help but wonder if certain things are correct, because everything's kind of jumbled up in my head and since I didn't learn the language the traditional way and don't have any books or anything like that to back refer to, I tend to overthink everything and spend too much brain power on these sorts of things. Anyways, I'm getting a little bit waffly. Thanks for your comments though. They were very helpful. @Jelila
    – Ana
    Commented Feb 20, 2018 at 21:02

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