Good afternoon, Albert Rocha.Early
is an adjective and an adverb.
A - In the following examples, early
is an adjective
. Look at the possible translations:
(1) Assim que deixaram o serviço da igreja primitiva
, duas senhoras olharam dentro da caixa.
(2) Visto que saíram do serviço matutino / de madrugada da igreja
, duas senhoras vasculharam a caixa.
(1) As they were leaving the [i]early church service
, two old women looked inside the box. = 1st translation and 2nd translation.
(2) As they were leaving the service of the early church
, two old women looked inside the box. = 1st translation.
(3) As they were leaving the early service of the church
, two old women looked inside the box. = 2nd translation.
In the first example, we realize the word early
is an adjective related to the church or to the (church) service.
The term "igreja primitiva" is quite old. The translation "igreja primitiva" could be inserted if you had to translate something related to religion or Hystory.
So, the common interpretation is related to the period of the day (early mornings - morning - afternoon - evening - night).
B - As an adverb
, we have the following statement:
(1) As they were leaving the [i]church service early
, two old women looked inside the box. = Considerando que elas estavam deixando o serviço religioso cedo / Visto que elas estavam saindo cedo do serviço da igreja, duas senhoras olharam (para) dentro da caixa.
I strongly recommend you read the following articles:
I hope I've helped.
(1) Merrian-webster online dictionary.
(2) Pearson Education. Longman Dictionary.
(3) (4) HERRING, Peter. Complete English Grammar Rules
. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. 2016.
(4) KECK, Leander E. Paul and His Letters
. Fortress Press (1988).