Today we’re going to look at a particular use of the word or the proposition “Before”, when I do something for example before doing something else; that is, when there are two verbs in play and one subject. And in this case we use the gerund and there is no need to repeat the subject.


I took my shoes off before entering the mosque. …antes de entrar en la mezquita.

I dug a hole before planting the seed. Cavé un agujero antes de plantar la semilla.

He always shaves before having a shower. ….se afeita antes de ducharse

I read the contract before signing. Leí el contrato antes de firmarlo

I switched the light off before going to sleep. Apagué la luz antes de irme a dormir

To fall asleep; dormirse en situaciones inapropiadas.

To go to sleep; ir a dormir.


Now, the same thing happens when we use “After”, okay? There’s no changes subject; I did something after doing something else.

I went for a walk after reading the Sunday papers.

Fui a dar un paseo después de leer los dominicales


I had a nap after checking in at the hotel. Me eché una siesta después de llegar al hotel

A nap or a kip; significan lo mismo


I had a few beers with my colleagues after finishing work. Tomé unas cuantas cervezas con mis compañeros después de salir del trabajo.

Colleagues or workmates

No decimos “companions” para referirnos a compañeros de trabajo.

Colegas; mates <meits>


After watching the film I went to bed. Tras ver…

After spending all his pocket money, He asked her mother for more. Tras gastar todo su dinero, le pidió más a su madre


Okay, let’s move on now to another proposition: WHILST

Okay, and again when there’s no changes subject, if you do something “mientas haces otra cosa” en inglés decimos; we do it whilst doing something else.


I saw the accident happened whilst driving close to Valencia.

Vi como ocurrió el accidente miestras conducía cerca de Valencia


Okay, let’s look at another example of this use of the gerund, and that is with the expression; ON DOING SOMETHING, This is the equivalent expression of “al ocurrir algo, al hacer algo”. Al darme cuenta sería: On realizing


On seeing their reaction, we decided to make a quick exit.

Al ver su reacción decidimos salir pitando

To make a quick exit is a ‘set phrases’, it means; “salir pitando cuando has metido la pata” when you’ve put your foot in it: To make a quick exit.


On arriving at the hotel, we were told that there was a problem with our booking.

Al llegar al hotel, nos dijeron que había un problema con nuestra reserva.

Cuando decimos “nos dijeron” sin identificar el sujeto del verbo solemos utilizar la voz pasiva “we were told”


On reaching the summit, they planted the Union Jack.

Al alcanzar la cumbre, plantaron la bandera británica.

By the way ‘The Union Jack’ is the way that we refer to the British flag and it’s identically Americans refer to them National flag as The Stars and Stripes.   


Now, just afford we finish this section, I want to refer to an alternative way of saying “Before doing something” and that is: PRIOR TO DOING SOMETHING, Okay? I did this prior to doing that. It’s quite formal expression but nevertheless it's wondered its use relatively frequently, okay?

You must hand in your keys to reception prior to leaving the hotel.

Debes entregar las llaves en recepción antes de dejar el hotel

Prior to making a decision, you should research all the possibilities.

Antes de tomar una decisión, deberías investigar todas las posibilidades