Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 44
  1. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #1

    There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Why can't you use before in the below? Is "below" always for figurative places, never for concrete positions?

    ex)There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall.

  2. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,969
    #2

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Quote Originally Posted by keannu View Post
    Why can't you use before in the below? Is "below" always for figurative places, never for concrete positions?

    ex)There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall.
    ♥♦♣♠ NOT A TEACHER ♥♦♣♠
    Who told you that you can't? Yes, you can, but such use is considered formal by some. And of course it's correct.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #3

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    I'll disagree with engee. I would call this usage archaic, not formal. It would have been formal in the 19th century.

    I may be wrong though. Perhaps "before" is still used this way by some people--I'll be glad to know.

  3. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,969
    #4

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I'll disagree with engee. I would call this usage archaic, not formal. It would have been formal in the 19th century.
    Whether archaic or not, it's still in use - some call it old-fashioned in such a context, others formal.

    before

    8. If someone is before something, they are in front of it. (FORMAL)
    They drove through a tall iron gate and stopped before a large white villa.
    PREP

    (c) HarperCollins Publishers.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #5

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    A criminal might appear before a judge, but I would not say a crowd of people were "before" a building.

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland

    • Join Date: Jul 2010
    • Posts: 5,098
    #6

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    A criminal might appear before a judge, but I would not say a crowd of people were "before" a building.
    That's pretty much what I thought, but engee's example says it's possible. Could it be an AmE-BrE difference?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #7

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    That's pretty much what I thought, but engee's example says it's possible. Could it be an AmE-BrE difference?
    I don't know about Brits. The example he gives states it is "formal," so I do not see the point in saying it is acceptable to people trying to learn conversational English.

    Example, if I was driving a car and someone was giving me directions and they told me to stop "before" the post office, I would not think they meant to stop right in front of it!

  4. keannu's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Korean
      • Home Country:
      • South Korea
      • Current Location:
      • South Korea

    • Join Date: Dec 2010
    • Posts: 5,226
    #8

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    I don't know about Brits. The example he gives states it is "formal," so I do not see the point in saying it is acceptable to people trying to learn conversational English.

    Example, if I was driving a car and someone was giving me directions and they told me to stop "before" the post office, I would not think they meant to stop right in front of it!
    Then, what would you think for "before"? Is it mainly a figurative meaning?
    When you said "A criminal might appear before a judge", does that mean physically or metaphorically?

    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2009
    • Posts: 12,310
    #9

    Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Physically.

    I think the point is that there are idiomatic uses of "before" to mean "in front of" but the word is not used in general with that meaning.

  5. engee30's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Apr 2006
    • Posts: 2,969
    #10

    Red face Re: There was a large crowd in front of(before) the City Hall?

    Quote Originally Posted by SoothingDave View Post
    [...] so I do not see the point in saying it is acceptable to people trying to learn conversational English.
    That's one of the most ridiculous statements I've come across on this forum concerning learning the English language. I just can't seem to figure out what the two members gave you a thank-you for.
    I would have thought this forum is about all of the areas of English, and not just what some think is right as far as they are concerned.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 3 4 5 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. New York City / Mexico City
    By milan2003_07 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 30-Jan-2011, 15:37
  2. [General] Pumas are large animals vs A puma is a large animal
    By cubezero3 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 28-Jan-2011, 19:36
  3. a large number of and large numbers of
    By chrysanthemum in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 08-Oct-2010, 20:45
  4. [General] Small town vs Large city
    By Ralaa in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 13-Mar-2010, 02:46
  5. packed crowd-capacity crowd (and more)
    By zahari in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2007, 23:36

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •