N1 Lesson 9: 11/17
が早いか がはやいか

が早いか

As soon as
No sooner than
The instant that
No sooner had

⚠ While it can be used with the past form
non-past is more common.

Structure Legend
Structure
Verb[る/た] + が早いか、Phrase[た]
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(A) が早いか (B) is a formal written expression that is not often used in speech, meaning that as soon as (A) happens, (B). In other words, (B) happens directly after (A).
(B) is often surprising, spontaneous, or habitual and usually expresses someone’s actions (行く、駆け出す). Due to this, it is uncommon with expressions that are beyond human control, like 雨が降った.
The following phrase is always in the past tense, so it cannot be used to express future intentions with volitional form or expressions like つもり.
It is also not used when talking about speaker/writer, however, the subjects of (A) and (B) might differ.

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お母(かあ)さんがケーキを焼(や)き上(あ)げるが早(はや)いか、お父(とう)さんが食(た)べ始(はじ)めた。
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As soon as mom had baked the cake, dad started eating it.

Try N1 : Page 50
Shin Kanzen Master N1 Bunpou : Page 8
Sou Matome Bunpou N1 : Page 54
A Dictionary of Advanced Japanese Grammar : Page 99