Grammar

VDIC + MAE NI (前に)


MAE NI is used (前に) to express an event that occurs before another, the anteriority.

If the independent clause (what is after 前) does not last in time, then the particle に must be used after 前. It means that we are thinking of a specific point in time. On the other hand, if the independent clause lasts over time, then the particle は is used after 前. We are then thinking of a moment whose duration is not determined.

The verb placed before 前 is always in the form of the dictionary (also called the plain form).

映画館(えいがかん)()(まえ)()べて!
Eigakan ni iku mae ni tabete!
Eat before going to the cinema!

フランス()(まえ)アメリカ()んでいた
Furansu ni kuru mae wa amerika ni sunde ita.
I used to live in the United States before coming to France.

If you want to clarify the sentence by adding temporal information, this information would be placed just before 前に or 前は.

()()時間(じかん)(まえ)ラーメン()べました
Neru ni jikan mae ni raamen o tabemashita.
I ate ramen two hours before going to bed.

The temporal information may be a noun (breakfast, the end of the movie, etc.). In that case, the particle NO (の) must be added between the noun and 前.

食事(しょくじ)(まえ)()(あら)って!
Shokuji no mae ni te o aratte ne!
Wash your hands before the meal!


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