Skip to main content

"Early on" is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms*"

early on

At an early stage in a process or course of events, as in He started using computers very early on
_______

"On" is not necessary with "in life," since "early in life" is given, and it is obvious.

In addition, "early on" gives a little informal flavor to the sentence.

Since this sentence seems to be advice to the general public, (we should), "early on" seems appropriately chatty.

"Early" alone is perfectly correct, though.

Rachel
_______
*The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Houghton Mifflin Company 1997.
"Early on" is listed in the American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms*"

early on

At an early stage in a process or course of events, as in He started using computers very early on
_______

"On" is not necessary with "in life," since "early in life" is given, and it is obvious.

In addition, "early on" gives a little informal flavor to the sentence.

Since this sentence seems to be advice to the general public, (we should), "early on" seems appropriately chatty.

"Early" alone is perfectly correct, though.

Rachel
_______
*The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Houghton Mifflin Company 1997.

Is it correct to say:
"I had to take on challenges from early in my life."

I'm not sure about the 'from' in the sentence. 

Is it correct to say:
"I had to take on challenges from early in my life."

I'm not sure about the 'from' in the sentence. 

Hi, Arashful—With "from" and "in my life," you need "on" from an idiomatic standpoint. Your sentence is incredibly awkward and unnatural without "on," but with "on" it is fine:

  • I had to take on challenges from early on (in my life).

Without "on," the prepositional phrase "from early in my life" appears to modify "challenges," such that the speaker appears to be a time traveler revisiting challenges that arose early in his life.

With "on," you can have the meaning you want. When you use "from early on," it becomes unnecessary to say "in my life," which will likely be understood in context—though other contexts might suggest "in my position," etc.

The difference between "I had to take on challenges from early on (in my life)" and "I had to take on challenges early on (in my life)" is that only the former indicates that the speaker continued to have to take on challenges.

With "from" and "in my life," you need "on" from an idiomatic standpoint. Your sentence is incredibly awkward and unnatural without "on," but with "on" it is fine:

  • I had to take on challenges from early on (in my life).

Without "on," the prepositional phrase "from early in my life" appears to modify "challenges." such that the speaker appears to be a time traveler revisiting challenges that arose early in his life.

That's a very good point, David. I think "on" strengthens the adverbial meaning of "early," making it a good object to the preposition "from." Otherwise, it remains too adjectival, so to say.

Last edited by Gustavo, Contributor

Hi, Arashful—With "from" and "in my life," you need "on" from an idiomatic standpoint. Your sentence is incredibly awkward and unnatural without "on," but with "on" it is fine:

  • I had to take on challenges from early on (in my life).

Without "on," the prepositional phrase "from early in my life" appears to modify "challenges," such that the speaker appears to be a time traveler revisiting challenges that arose early in his life.

With "on," you can have the meaning you want. When you use "from early on," it becomes unnecessary to say "in my life," which will likely be understood in context—though other contexts might suggest "in my position," etc.

The difference between "I had to take on challenges from early on (in my life)" and "I had to take on challenges early on (in my life)" is that only the former indicates that the speaker continued to have to take on challenges.

Thank you very much for the answer. So it's either:

- I had to take on challenges early on in my life. / I had to take on challenges early in my life.

Or

- I had to take on challenges from early on in my life. = It means still taking on challenges. 

If  I got it right, can I say:

- I learned early in my life that there's more to life than money.  (without 'from' and 'on.')

Last edited by Ashraful Haque

Does "She knew what she wanted to do early in life" mean that she used to know but now she doesn't?

That is ambiguous, because "early in life" can refer to "knew" or to "wanted to do," although the former is more likely as it is usual that at a young age we discover what we want to be as adults (that is, if "wanted to do" refers to one's future projects rather than to one's current likes).

In reply to your question, it is unclear whether she still knows or has forgotten. Perhaps we can reinforce the ongoing knowledge by using "already":

- Early in life she already knew what she wanted to do.

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×