"Before" at the end of a sentence

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

It is a rule that prepositions are followed by nouns. They are never followed by verbs.

- "Before" leaving, Alice fed her turtle. (Leaving is a gerund, a noun formed from a verb.)
- Paolo was napping "under" a coconut tree in Hawaii.
- The coffee cups are "on" the table.
- The package is "for" you.

Today’s post highlights a special case when the preposition “before” is at the end of a sentence, followed by nothing. In this situation, "before" means at some unknown time before now. It does not say when, and it’s normally used with the present perfect tense.

- Lisa has seen Bruce Springsteen in concert "before".
- Alex has never been to Niagara Falls "before".
- I have never heard that song "before".
- Have you ever traveled by plane "before"? No, I have never never flown "before". This is my first time.

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