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    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Japanese
      • Home Country:
      • Japan
      • Current Location:
      • Japan

    • Join Date: Aug 2006
    • Posts: 86
    #1

    when vs before

    Hello,

    Would you check the below sentences?

    The movie had already started when we arrived.
    The movie had already started before we arrived.

    Can we use both "when" and "before"? If we can, is there any difference in meaning?

    Or can we use only either of them?
    My teacher(from U.S.) says he would use "before", not "when" in the above case.

    I apprecaite your help.

  1. bhaisahab's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Ireland

    • Join Date: Apr 2008
    • Posts: 25,592
    #2

    Re: when vs before

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshio View Post
    Hello,

    Would you check the below sentences?

    The movie had already started when we arrived.
    The movie had already started before we arrived.

    Can we use both "when" and "before"? If we can, is there any difference in meaning?

    Or can we use only either of them?
    My teacher(from U.S.) says he would use "before", not "when" in the above case.

    I apprecaite your help.
    You can use both. "...when we arrived." at the moment we arrived.

    "...before we arrived." at some unspecified moment before our arrival."

    The difference is very subtle.

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