Before vs. In Front Of

Before is used to refer to time. In front of is used to refer to place.

Compare:

  • I must reach home before 9 o’clock.
  • She usually leaves for office before 8.30.
  • There is a garden in front of the house. (NOT There is a garden before the house.)
  • You can’t park in front of the gate. (NOT You can’t park before the gate.)

In some cases before can refer to place. For example, we can use before to talk about the order in which people or objects come in lists, queues etc.

  • Her name comes before mine in the list.
  • Adjectives usually go before the nouns that they modify.

Before can also mean in the presence of an important person.

  • He was brought before the magistrate.

We do not use in front of to talk about objects that are on the other side of the road, river etc. This idea is usually expressed with opposite.

Compare:

  • There is a dispensary in front of my house. (Both my house and the dispensary are on the same side of the road.)
  • There is a dispensary opposite my house. (The dispensary is on the other side of the road from my house.)Before
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Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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