THIS page provides hundreds of example sentences taken from English literature, illustrating the use of various words.

‘Before’ as an adverb

Below are some examples of sentences from classic literature using the word ‘Before’ as an adverb.


Tom was not afraid of the dragon, although he had never spoken to one before.

From ‘The Book of Dragons’, by Edith Nesbit.


“That is very true,” said Elizabeth; “though it had not occurred to me before.”

From ‘Pride and Prejudice’, by Jane Austen.


“Here,” said he, “is an engine that will, before long, effect a complete revolution in society.”

From ‘The Lives of the Engineers’, by Samuel Smiles.
Investor William James, on seeing a steam locomotive built by George Stephenson

Picture: These six steam locomotives were special guests of the Threkeld Quarry and Mining Museum, near Keswick in Cumbria, for its steam gala in 2015. © Chris Allen, Geograph. Licence: CC BY-SA 2.0. By Peter Trimming, Geograph. Licence: CC-BY-SA 2.0.
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In a few weeks I was promoted to a higher class; in less than two months I was allowed to commence French and drawing.

From ‘Jane Eyre’, by Charlotte Brontë.

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