Before, in front of and opposite
February 15th, 2012 in English Grammar
As a preposition, before shows times. In front of shows place.
I must reach home before 8 o’clock. (NOT I must reach home in front of 8 o’clock.)
I have to finish the job before Monday.
The car is parked in front of the school. (NOT The car is parked before the school.)
Before can refer to place in a few cases.
For example, we can use before to talk about the order in which people or things come in queues, lists, written documents etc.
Hey, I was before you! / I was in front of you.
Your name comes before mine in the alphabet.
We use an article before a singular countable noun.
Before can also mean ‘in the presence of’.
He was brought before a judge.
Also note the expressions ‘right before one’s eyes’ and ‘before one’s very eyes’.
It happened right before my eyes.
We do not use in front of to mean ‘across a road / river / room etc from’. This idea is usually expressed with opposite.
There is a studio opposite my house. (= The studio is on the other side of the road from my house.)
There is a bus stop in front of my house. (Both bus stop and house are on the same side of the road.)