What part of speech is “before”

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as an adjective, before is used to describe something that happened (or will happen) before a certain point in time.

1. 'The before-school program was very successful.'

2. 'His before-dinner snack was quite filling.'

3. 'We were impressed with the before-tax amount.'

when using before as an adjective, make sure that it appears directly before the noun it is modifying. Otherwise, its purpose will not be clear.


prepositions are used to connect two related words and to describe the relationship between them. In this capacity, before is used to indicate a temporal relationship between two words, usually a point in time, expressing that something happened (or will happen) prior to that point in time.

1. 'He completed the task before Monday.'

2. 'The train passed by before I could get to the station.'

3. 'I will take my medicine before dinner.'

it is important to remember that before always follows the word that it is connecting; it does not precede the word. Thus it is incorrect to say 'Monday before he completed the task.'


adverbs modify verbs, adjectives, or other adverbs in a sentence. In this capacity, before can be used to describe the timing of an action by indicating that the action occurred (or will occur) prior to a specific point in time. A few examples of its usage as an adverb include

1. 'I finished my work before 5 pm.'

2. 'He left before I could ask him the question.'

3. 'She arrived before the train left the station.'

common mistakes to avoid when using before as an adverb include misplacing it in the sentence, or placing it before a noun instead of right before the main verb or adjective it is modifying.


as a conjunction, before is used to connect two independent clauses, usually expressing an idea of something happening prior to a specific event.

1. 'I will finish my work before I go to the store.'

2. 'He went to bed before the movie ended.'

3. 'She will buy the tickets before the show starts.'

Common mistakes to avoid when using before as a conjunction include misplacing it in the sentence, or using it to connect two nouns, adjectives, or adverbs.

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