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 Banned

    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 Banned

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

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    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 Banned

    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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