a time modifier + "before"

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Senior Member
I have made up a few sentences below.

(1) Tom got home at 6pm before Mary did.

(2) Jack arrived at the mall before Sam did at 2pm.

(3) Before I left home at 11am, I had a snack.

Is it grammatically OK to use a time reference with "before"? Thanks for your help.
  • owlman5

    Senior Member
    Yes, it is. Your first sentence is strange and it probably needs to be rewritten. It seems to tell me that Tom got home at 6pm before Mary got home at 6pm. That doesn't make sense.

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Item 3 is ok but with the other two I find them tricky.

    Having two names and only one time specified makes me wonder which one of the two arrived at the named time.

    I’d probably would re-write them without before.

    Tom arrived at 6 and Mary came in later.
    Tom arrived first and Mary got there at 6.
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