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From Wiktionary
before is on the Basic English 850 List.
bee - before - behavior

before is one of the 1000 most common headwords.
bed - before - begin






  1. If happens before , happens first and happens second.
    He worked in a gas station before he became famous.
    Put out the fire before the house burns down.
    I have not been there before.
    She finished before me.
  2. in front of something
    She stood before him, looking into his eyes.
  3. until
    It took a few moments before I realized that she was joking.

Usage notes


The preposition before can be preceded by a modifier specifying the length of time that has gone by. For example:

  • Haroun's journey to England had begun many years before.