beforehand

Readomingues

Senior Member
Portuguese - Brazil
Could I say just 'before' instead of 'beforehand' in the following context?

Laurie − How about going to see a movie? Cinemax 26 on Carson Boulevard is showing Enchanted.

Christie − That sounds like a good idea. Maybe we should go out to eat beforehand.

Thank you.
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    You might like to check the meanings and uses of 'before' vs beforehand. There are a few words like this, where the difference is prepositional use vs adverbial, or soemtimes used as a conjunction.

    Unlike 'before', 'near' can't be a conjunction but at the preposition vs adverb level there's the same consideration at the end of a sentence.

    Is there a restaurant near the hotel? vs Is there a restaurant nearby?
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    "I realized that I had met her before." - I often come across such a sentence. Why isn't "beforehand" used here? I thought 'beforehand' is preferred when there is no noun.
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    "I realized that I had met her before." - I often come across such a sentence. Why isn't "beforehand" used here? I thought 'beforehand' is preferred when there is no noun.
    You use "beforehand" with the meaning "before a certain event": We got together beforehand (= before the meeting) to make sure we knew what the agenda at the meeting would be.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    And there is no event like that in your sentence.

    I realized that I had met her before.:thumbsup:
    I realized that I had met her in the past.:thumbsup:

    I realized that I had met her before the event.
    :thumbsdown:What event?
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    Ok, it's clear now. This is Longman example: "You should have told me beforehand that you might be late." So I believe that is not a good example as 'before' also fits, right?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It's not the best example. There is a lot implied in that sentence. The conversation is taking place after the event in question. The other person has told the person talking that they knew they might be late. The person talking is saying "You should have told me that before the event, not after."
     

    zaffy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    "She had met him six months before."
    "She had met him six months beforehand"

    So in the first example we could replace 'before' with "earlier", right?
    The second example implies some event, for example, she had met him six months before their wedding, right?
     

    The Newt

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Ok, it's clear now. This is Longman example: "You should have told me beforehand that you might be late." So I believe that is not a good example as 'before' also fits, right?
    "Before" would fit, but it simply means "earlier," not "in advance of [some event]."
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The second example implies some event, for example, she had met him six months before their wedding, right?
    No, it doesn't work like that. There has to be a more direct connection between the two things.

    The meeting was at 9 but we met beforehand to go over what we would say when it was our turn to talk about our project.
     

    Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Laurie − How about going to see a movie? Cinemax 26 on Carson Boulevard is showing Enchanted.

    Christie − That sounds like a good idea. Maybe we should go out to eat beforehand.
    Returning for a moment to the original question: 'Beforehand' is possible but people would most likely say

    Laurie − How about going to see a movie? Cinemax 26 on Carson Boulevard is showing Enchanted.

    Christie − That sounds like a good idea. Maybe we should go out to eat first.
    or
    Christie − That sounds like a good idea. Maybe we should go out to eat before that.
     
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