- be|fore [ bı`fɔr ] function word ***Before can be used in the following ways:as a conjunction (connecting two clauses):Think carefully before you choose.as a preposition (followed by a noun):We'll finish the project before Christmas.as an adverb (without a following noun):I'd met him once before.1. ) earlier than a particular timea ) earlier than a particular time, event, or action:She regularly goes for a run before breakfast.The others had gotten there before us.Won't you have another drink before you go?I joined the police in 1999. Before that I was in the army.Two weeks before the election the first reports of the scandal began to appear.before doing something: You should seek legal advice before signing anything.b ) at a time in the past:Haven't we met somewhere before?Never before in modern history has one nation dominated the world so completely.c ) the day/week/weekend etc. before the previous day/week/weekend etc.:She mentioned a TV show she'd watched the night before.d ) the day before yesterday/the week before last etc. two days/weeks etc. ago:Curry quit playing football the season before last.e ) used for saying how much time passes until something happens:Several years went by before I realized that David had lied to me.2. ) when something is prevented used for saying that something happens that prevents someone from doing what they intended:Before I could think of a reply she walked away.3. ) used in warnings or threats SPOKEN used for warning someone that something bad may happen unless they do something:Clean up that mess before your father sees it.You'd better go away before I lose my temper.4. ) for someone to consider or watcha ) FORMAL used for saying that something or someone is judged or considered by a group of people:The case went before a grand jury on December 17th.The question before us is whether we should allow a foreign government to control our commerce.b ) FORMAL used for saying that something is happening where people can watch it:The team scored an impressive victory before 76,000 fans at Arrowhead Stadium.5. ) in front of or earlier than someone/somethinga ) if one place is before another place on your trip, you come to it first:Our house is just before you get to the end of the road.A few miles before the border we were stopped at an army checkpoint.b ) FORMAL in front of someone or something:Lawrence knelt before the king.Before the temple gate stood a bronze statue of Buddha.c ) used for saying that something is placed earlier than something else in a list or series:The names are in alphabetical order, so Barnes should come before Brown.6. ) in the future MAINLY BRITISH FORMAL used when saying what will happen in someone's future:A promising career stretched out before him.You're still young you have your whole life before you.=> AGO
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.