In early (As early as) 1810, water-powered textile manufacturing arrived in New Hampshire...

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le banche

Hi everyone.
I've got to do the TOEFL the day after tomorrow. But I have a problem understanding this phrase (as early as).

I just practiced on some TOEFL tests, and I was really disappointed when I chose the wrong answer.

This was the question:

............. 1810, water-powered textile
manufacturing arrived in New Hampshire with
the founding of a company in Mansherster that
manufactured cotton and wool.
(A) Early.
(B) In early.
(C) As early as.
(D) When early.

I chose (B), but the right answer is (C).

Would anyone explain why?
I really have to understand.

Last edited by a moderator:
  • Bevj

    Allegra Moderata (Sp/Eng, Cat)
    English (U.K.)
    I would have answered B to your first example, though C could conceivable be correct.
    Last edited by a moderator:


    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I think this is a matter of perspective.
    1810 is a very long time ago.
    It is highly unlikely that anyone would, today, want to specify that something as vague as this happened in the early part of 1810.

    It is, on the other hand, very likely that someone would want to point out just how early in the 19th century water-powered textile manufacturing arrived in New Hampshire.

    That is why I would choose "As early as..." rather than "In early...".

    However, that is a matter of choice - of picking one of two equally-correct possibilities.
    It is a poor question.


    Senior Member
    Panjandrum's logic is unshakable and I fully agree with him.

    I do think, however, that this is a bad example as both B and C are grammatically correct and could be the right answer under specific sets of circumstances. I may be wrong on this one, though. :)


    Senior Member
    I am not any kind of specialist in English grammar, but could it have anything to do with the effect of the comma after the blank space?
    Good luck with the TOEFL, le banche.

    le banche

    The problem is that they are both right but (C) is the best answer. It's really confusing.

    Thanks all for replying and explaining :)

    wish me luck ,,,,


    I agree it's a bad question, but in early 1810 is an odd construction. If you know it's early 1810, is it January, February or March? As early as 1810 is implying that water-powered textile manufacturing began early in New Hampshire; perhaps it didn't begin until the 1820's in other parts of the country???
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