まえに (mae ni) Meaning Japanese Grammar - Before
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5 min reading time
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.
前に is the transcription in kanji
Its antonym is represented by 後で 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:
A large number of students were waiting in front of the library.
A wonderful view suddenly appeared in front of me.
目の前に in front of my eyes
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.
Let's drink plenty of water before jogging!
I met him a week ago.
Here are some useful structures:
tōka mae ni: 10 days ago
nikagetsu mae ni: 2 months ago
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 前に.
前 can be followed by the particle の and becomes an adjective:
The day before, the previous day
What happened two years ago
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.
I buy souvenirs before going back to my country.
I meditate every morning before leaving home.
The verb is used in its affirmative form.
- 買い物に行く前に before going shopping
- 決める前に before deciding something
Use of 前 in a title of an article from the Internet
Properties in front of the schools. What are the disadvantages?
Dore gurai mae ni
dono gurai mae ni, a useful interrogative form to ask:
- How long?
- How long ago?
- How far in advance?
- How early?
How far in advance do you go on the day of the exam?
A similar situation and sentence:
How early should I get to the test room?
How long ago did he call?
How far in advance should I make the reservation?
Exemples of まえに
I came to Japan three years ago.
Sorry, did you wait for me?
No, I just got here five minutes ago.
The form たばかり refers to something that just happened.
Don't forget to brush your teeth before going to sleep.
Before I graduate from University, I want to travel to various places.
I was speechless when I stood in front of him.
Similar grammar points in Japanese 📚