How to use
earlier than a particular event or action
Say goodbye before you go.
I saw her a few days before she died.
see usage note
so that something does not or cannot happen
Put that money somewhere safe before it gets stolen.
That dog ought to be destroyed before it attacks any more children.
Before I could say anything more, Holmes had rushed off towards the station.
used to say that something happens after a period of time
It was several minutes before we realised what was happening.
It will be a while before we know the results.
used to say that something must happen in order for something else to be possible
You have to pass a test before you can get a licence.
used to warn someone that something bad will happen to them if they do not do something
Get out before I call the police!
used to emphasize that someone does not want to do something
She would die before she would admit she was wrong.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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