before vs. ago


How can I use: ago and before in right place?

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i am really enjoying the classes. I am unable to post my reply and questions early because of frequent power failure here in Ethiopia. i did bot de tests well. i do hav a doubt in the second test
What is the difference between ’ I have never seen her before’ and
‘i have never ssaw her before’.
Where should i use saw and seen

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Can any one please explain me the difference between these two words. Ago and Before ??? :roll:

Main difference:

Ago is used as an adverb after a word that specifies a certain amount of time, such as “two weeks ago”, “five years ago”. It means: two weeks before the present time of speaking/writing.

Before can be:

  • adverb: “Why did you not feed my cat? I had told you two days before. Didn’t you remember?” - it may be some time before the present time of speaking/writing, or some time before another moment in the past, depending on context. In this example, it means two days before the time of “why did you not feed my cat” and “didn’t you remember”, in the past.
  • preposition: “He told me of his strategy before the games.”
  • conjunction: “You must come to me before the clock strikes eleven.”

Thanks for your reply Cerberus. I feel I’m still confused about the proper use of these two words as an adverb. :frowning:
Would you please complete this sentence with proper word?
"I went there two weeks _ _ _ _ _ _ ". Which one is the most appropriate choice? Ago or Before? Thanks in advance. :slight_smile:

Either one could be correct.

“I read that Paris was destroyed by a flood on monday! Can you imagine? I went there two weeks before!”

Here, only “before” is correct if I want to express two weeks before monday, because before can refer to an extent of time before a point in the past. If I mean two weeks before now, “ago” would be better.

“Mother, don’t say that, Paris is a beautiful city. I went there two weeks ago.”
Here, “ago” is better, because it refers to an extent of time before now = before the moment of speaking/writing.


Please don’t mind but it is good to stick to the topic of the post. You could at any point create a new topic.

Ago versus Before:

Does ‘before’ connote a comparison whereas ‘ago’ is used to talk about a certain point in time?

(Cerberus, you answered before I asked ;))

That sometimes happens to me, too! Incidentally, I added an extra sentence to my first example, something I had forgotten.

Thank you for your explanation Cerberus. It’s very much clear to me now. :smiley: