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English definition of “beforehand”

beforehand

adverb     /bɪˈfɔː.hænd/ US  /-ˈfɔːr-/
earlier (than a particular time): I knew she was coming that afternoon because she had phoned beforehand to say so.Before, after and alreadyAfter and behind Grammar:BeforeBefore is a preposition, an adverb and a conjunction. Before means earlier than the time or event mentioned:See moreGrammar:Before as a prepositionWe use before most commonly with noun phrases to refer to timed events:See moreGrammar:Before, by, till, untilIf you have to do something before a certain point in time, then when that point arrives, the action must already be completed:See moreGrammar:Before as an adverbBefore often comes after nouns such as day, morning, night, week, month, year to refer to the previous day, morning, etc.:See moreGrammar:Before as an adjunctWe use before to connect earlier events to the moment of speaking or to a point of time in the past:See moreGrammar:Before as a conjunctionWe use before as a subordinating conjunction. We commonly use before with the past simple tense. It suggests that the second event happened soon after the first one. The before clause, which indicates the second action, can be at the end or at the beginning of the sentence:See moreGrammar:Before with -ingA non-finite clause with before + ing-form is more formal:See moreGrammar:Just before, immediately beforeWe can use adverbs such as just, immediately, shortly and long, and expressions involving words such as days, weeks, months, years in front of before:See moreGrammar:BeforehandWe can use beforehand as an alternative to before as an adverb, especially when the reference to time is less specific.See moreGrammar:Other uses of beforeSee moreGrammar:Before: typical errorsSee more
(Definition of beforehand adverb from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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