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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default before and in front of

    Dear teachers,

    I have had difficult time and is still struggling with ''before'' and ''in front of' when they are used to refer to position.
    May I say they are absolute synomyms?
    For example, they are interchageable in the following sentences:

    Don't talk about it in front of the children.
    He stood up before a whole roomful of people, and asked her to marry him.

    However, in the sentence:
    The car ___________ mine that produced clouds of choking dust suddenly pulled off the road at a wider palce, to leat me pass.
    a. in front of b. before
    The key is 'a'. No problem. 'b' in this case is not correct because it might suggest other cars were running between that car and my car. Is that right?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Don't talk about it in front of the children.
    He stood up before a whole roomful of people, and asked her to marry him.


    In these sentences, 'before' and 'in front of' are not used literally. 'in front of' means : in the presence of
    and
    'before' means: in the presence of, with all attention on him.

    In the sentence:
    "The car in front of mine..." , yes, we are talking about actual position, in a position just ahead of someone or something else.

    I have had difficult time and is still struggling with ''before'' and ''in front of'
    1. check your use of definite and indefinite articles in this sentence
    2. check your declension of 'to be'

  3. #3
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear teachers,

    I have had difficult time and is still struggling with ''before'' and ''in front of' when they are used to refer to position.

    Jiang
    You can solve this problem immediately. Use "in front of" for all such cases, and leave "before" for time references.

    R.

  4. #4
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Dear David,

    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.
    Thank you for pointing out my mistakes.

    1. I have a difficult time....
    2. And am still struggling with ......

    Have a nice weekend.

    Jiang




    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Don't talk about it in front of the children.
    He stood up before a whole roomful of people, and asked her to marry him.


    In these sentences, 'before' and 'in front of' are not used literally. 'in front of' means : in the presence of
    and
    'before' means: in the presence of, with all attention on him.

    In the sentence:
    "The car in front of mine..." , yes, we are talking about actual position, in a position just ahead of someone or something else.

    I have had difficult time and is still struggling with ''before'' and ''in front of'
    1. check your use of definite and indefinite articles in this sentence
    2. check your declension of 'to be'

  5. #5
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Hi Raymott,

    Thank you very much for your help. Again this is multiple choice exercise and I have to decide between the two.

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    You can solve this problem immediately. Use "in front of" for all such cases, and leave "before" for time references.

    R.

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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Yes, I was referring to 'I am'.
    However, you raise an interesting point. You cahnged "I have a difficult time.." to "I have had a difficult time..." BOTH could be correct...but why is your original choice of tense more appropriate?

    YOU FIRST!
    Last edited by David L.; 07-Dec-2008 at 08:42.

  7. #7
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Dear David,

    'I have a difficult time ' means 'a case in general.'
    'I have had a difficult time' means from certain time in the past till now I have been confused by them.
    Is that right?
    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by David L. View Post
    Yes, I was referring to 'I am'.
    However, you raise an interesting point. You cahnged "I have a difficult time.." to "I have had a difficult time..." BOTH could be correct...but why is your original choice of tense more appropriate?

    YOU FIRST!

  8. #8
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Quote Originally Posted by jiang View Post
    Dear David,

    'I have a difficult time ' means 'a case in general.'
    'I have had a difficult time' means from certain time in the past till now I have been confused by them.
    Is that right?
    I have a difficult time (with) - It's giving me trouble now.
    I have had a difficult time (with) - It gave me trouble in the past.


  9. #9
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Dear RonBee,

    Haven't heard from you for a long time!
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see!

    Jiang

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee View Post
    I have a difficult time (with) - It's giving me trouble now.
    I have had a difficult time (with) - It gave me trouble in the past.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: before and in front of

    Originally, you wrote (with the corrections):
    I have had a difficult time and I'm still struggling with ''before'' and ''in front of'
    This is grammatically correct and appropriate. In fact, it beautifully expresses and conveys your perspective to the reader!

    This is also grammatically correct and appropriate
    I have a difficult time with ''before'' and ''in front of"
    (where you changed 'have had' to 'have' (and we omit 'and I'm still struggling with').

    Are you sure you understand why?
    Last edited by David L.; 07-Dec-2008 at 13:17.

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