No sooner had I gone.....?

I came acroos the following sentence which I’m not sure about and its meaning. Using tenses of verbs here is needed. Thanks again.

The sentence is: No sooner__________ I ___________(go) out than he came to see me.

(Someone said the answer should be : No sooner had I gone out…!)

No sooner did I go out than he came to see me. (This is how it is usually filled up)

No sooner had I gone out…! (This also is possible; both are found to be acceptable though I prefer the first)

Please delete the duplicates, Archer. You can do it yourself.

I think the most usual of the two correct forms which Anglophile has provided is
No sooner had I gone out…
in the majority of contexts.
For this reason, it would be the one I would choose if the context dictated that either would be appropriate.

Why I prefer the ‘did’ tense is that the actions are expected to have taken place almost simultaneously, in which case the ‘had’ tense, to me, is less preferable though I wouldn’t find it inappropriate as we use only the ‘had’ tense in sentences like ‘Hardly had he gone out when …’ where the ‘had’ tense is the usual form.


You have already received the answer from wonderful teachers. But, to be honest, I would agree more with Beeesneees.

Also, may I add something that may interest you:

[size=150]223 hardly, scarely and no sooner[/size]

These there expressions can be used *(often with a past perfect tense) to suggest that one thing happened very soon after another. Note the sentence structure:

    . . . hardly   . . . when/before . . . 
    . . . scarcely   . . . when/before . . . 
    . . . no sooner . . . than . . . 

I had [i]hardly/scarcely [/i]closed my eyes [i]when[/i] the phone rang.
She was [i]hardly/scarcely[/i] inside the house before the kids [i]started [/i]screaming.
I had [i]no sooner [/i]closed the door [i]than[/i] somebody knocked.
We [i]no sooner[/i] sat down in the train [i]than [/i]I felt sick.

In a formal or literary style, inverted word order is possible.

Hardly had I closed my eyes when I began to imagine fantastic shapes.
No sooner had she agreed to marry him than she started to have doubts.      

        Source: Michael Swan, Practical English Usage, 3-rd edition, p.205
  • pay attention to what is written in the parentheses

    My opinion (conclusion): Archer, as concerns your example, both the past simple and past perfect are acceptable. However, in careful written English we prefer the latter. (At least, let’s assume, if you took a test and both versions were given, the past perfect would absolutely be the correct answer.)



I agree with you, about all of you, as helping and wonderful experts in the field.
Many thanks to your explanation which I really needed to understand this kind of sentences and its grammar as I mentioned in my post (I came across…)!

Many thanks again.

You are welcome, Archer! :wink: