まえに (mae ni) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]

Author Anna Baffa Volpe for article 'まえに (mae ni) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]'

Anna Baffa Volpe

5 min reading time

Updated on 24 January 2023

まえに (mae ni) Meaning Japanese [JLPT N5]

The term まえに (mae ni) means before, ahead, ago, in front of.

It is used to describe something that happened before another thing, expressing time and it is also used in a context of space referring to something in front of another thing.

In this post we are going to learn all the possible meanings of まえに through example sentences in real contexts.

How まえに is formed

This word can be preceded by either a noun or a verb.

Verb in the dictionary form+まえに
Noun+のまえに

(まえ)に is the transcription in kanji

Its antonym is represented by (あと)ato de meaning afterwards, after.

How and when まえに is used

まえに is used both when talking about something temporal and spatial.

Mae ni in spatial expression patterns

In this case the form follows the structure:

Noun indicating the space+(まえ)

()(しょ)(かん)(まえ)には(おお)(ぜい)(がく)(せい)()っていた。

A large number of students were waiting in front of the library.

すばらしい(けい)(しき)がさっと()(まえ)(あらわ)れた。

A wonderful view suddenly appeared in front of me.

()(まえ)に in front of my eyes

学校(がっこう)(まえ)にある(けい)(しょく)()()こう。

Let's go to the snack bar in front of the school.

Mae ni in temporal expression patterns

In this case we find temporal expressions of various kinds or nouns that imply temporal contexts.

ジョギングの(まえ)に、たくさん(みず)()みましょうね。

Let's drink plenty of water before jogging!

(しゅう)(かん)(まえ)(かれ)()った。

I met him a week ago.

Here are some useful structures:

  • 10日前に tōka mae ni: 10 days ago
  • 2ヶ月前に nikagetsu mae ni: 2 months ago
  • 5年前に gonen mae ni: 5 years ago

As we see in this kind of expressions the particle の is obmitted between the number and the numeric suffix expressing time and (まえ)に.

前 can be followed by the particle の and becomes an adjective:

(まえ)()

The day before, the previous day

2(ねん)(まえ)()()(ごと)

What happened two years ago

(りょ)(こう)(まえ)にホテルを()(やく)した(ほう)がいいよね。

It's better to book a hotel before the trip.

Before doing something

まえに is widely used in combintion with the plain form in present tense and refers to an action occurring before another.

(くに)(かえ)(まえ)に、お土産(みやげ)()います。

I buy souvenirs before going back to my country.

(まい)(あさ)(いえ)()(まえ)に、(めい)(そう)します。

I meditate every morning before leaving home.

The verb is used in its affirmative form.

  • ()(もの)()(まえ)に before going shopping
  • ()める(まえ)に before deciding something

Use of (まえ) in a title of an article from the Internet

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Dore gurai mae ni

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Exemples of まえに

(ねん)(まえ)に、日本(にほん)()ました。

I came to Japan three years ago.

A

ごめん、()った?

Sorry, did you wait for me?

B

ううん、5(ぶん)(まえ)()たばかりだよ。

No, I just got here five minutes ago.

The form たばかり refers to something that just happened.

()るまえに、()みがきを(わす)れないでね。

Don't forget to brush your teeth before going to sleep.

(だい)(がく)(そつ)(ぎょう)する(まえ)に、(いろ)々なところに(りょ)(こう)したい。

Before I graduate from University, I want to travel to various places.

(わたし)(かれ)(まえ)()たら(こと)()()なくなった。

I was speechless when I stood in front of him.

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