beforehands / beforehand

Discussion in 'English Only' started by andersxman, Mar 31, 2006.

  1. andersxman Senior Member

    I believe I've heard people say "beforehands", and up until now I've actually added an s to the word when using it - will I have to change that habit? I just googled it and found that "beforehand" is used enormously much more than "beforehands"

    So my question is:

    is it always incorrect to say fx.:

    "Had I known about miss X's situation it beforehands, I would never have done what I did."

    I don't know why I've come up with the idea of the -s, but it must have come from somewhere.

    Thank you.
  2. maxiogee Senior Member

    I wouldn't like to say anything as casual as that would be incorrect, but I've never heard it. I think that correct English would be "in advance" and beforehand is colloquial, but I may be wrong.
  3. andersxman Senior Member

    But.. beforehand is used in english? I can't have made that up all on my own..?! Very colloquial, though, is it?
  4. Mr.Blue

    Mr.Blue Senior Member

    Australia / English
    Beforehand is used in written language as well as spoken language. As to me I usually use "in advance" instead of "beforehand" in written language. By the way, I have never heard or used beforehands before , others might did , who knows . :)
  5. maxiogee Senior Member

    It is 'used', but not often and not in formal written or spoken English.
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The British National Corpus includes 667 examples of beforehand in spoken and written English of all kinds. In advance appears 1,991 times - but of course this includes contexts in which it is not equivalent to beforehand.

    I don't think that beforehand is colloquial, informal or in any sense to be avoided.
  7. SofiaB Senior Member

    English Asia
    I agrre it can be used in all situations. beforehands never heard it. The Oxford and Webster do not show it.
  8. maxiogee Senior Member

    Okay, so maybe it's not colloquial, but I would hazard that it is wrongly used 9 out of 10 times you see it.
  9. Bill Rich Senior Member

    US - English
    "Beforehand" is a commonly used word in English.

    Example: When I have guests for dinner I like to do all the cooking beforehand.

    Warning: Beforehands is not a word used in the English language.

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