Couldn't come sooner/can't come soon enough

Discussion in 'English Only' started by larubichan, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. larubichan New Member

    California, USA
    Couldn't come sooner vs can't come soon enough, as in:
    "Summer vacation couldn't come sooner" or "summer vacation can't come soon enough!"

    Is there a distinction between these two phrases, or are they roughly the same? I know they're both used to mark great anticipation for something, but I was just wondering if there was a slight difference in meaning.

    For "can't come soon enough," I know that it implies that no matter how soon something happens/arrives, it isn't soon enough--not soon enough to satisfy the speaker, that is.
  2. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    I think both phrases mean the same thing. I really can't think of any difference in meaning between them.
  3. se16teddy

    se16teddy Senior Member

    London but from Yorkshire
    English - England
    As far as I know we don't use this structure in this sense in Britain. I would not have understood it without your explanation.
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'm with teddy: I wouldn't have understood "... couldn't come sooner", either. "Can't come soon enough", yes:).
  5. owlman5

    owlman5 Senior Member

    That's interesting. I would have figured that "...couldn't come sooner" was also used in BE. It's pretty common over here.

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