Time Clauses

Before, After, As soon as  (We will study when and while later.)

First, I got out of bed.    Then I got dressed.

How many sentences are there?    2

Which action happens first in time?  get out of bed
Which action happens second in time?  get dressed

You can make one sentence by using the time words before, after, or as soon as.  However, it is important that you put the words in the correct place because the meaning of the sentence will change.

Before

I got out of bed before I got dressed. or  Before I got dressed, I got out of bed.

NOT   Before I got out of bed, I got dressed.  or  I got dressed before I got out of bed.

Put before in front of the second action (the most recent action) in time.

Example:

I got my visa.  I came to the United States.

Which action is the most recent in time?  I came to the United States.
Put the word before in front of this sentence.

I got my visa before I came to the United States.

or  Before I came to the United States, I got my visa.

Notice:  If you put the time clause at the beginning, you put a comma after the time clause.

Yessica ate dinner before she came to her evening class.
Which action is most recent in time?  She came to class.
What happens when you put the time clause at the beginning? 2 things happen.

Before Yessica came to her evening class, she ate dinner.

Notice that you need to change the pronoun (she) to the noun (Yessica) and that you need to put a comma after the time clause.

After

Example

I got out of bed.  Then I got dressed.

After is the opposite of before.  Put after in front of the action that is farther in the past.

Which action is farther in the past?  get out of bed

After I got out of bed, I got dressed.
I got dressed after I got out of bed.

Not: I got out of bed after I got dressed.
       
After I got dressed, I got out of bed.

As soon as = immediately after

As soon as works like after. It shows that the two actions happen very close in time.

Example

As soon as I got out of bed, I got dressed.
I got dressed as soon as I got out of bed.

Exercise:
Directions:  Combine the following sentences in two ways. Use the word in parentheses to combine the sentences.

Example:
(After)

Dan took a shower.
He got dressed.

A.  Dan got dressed after he took a shower.
B.  After Dan took a shower, he got dressed.

  1. (Before)
    First, Sara did her homework.  Then, she watched television.
    A. ______________________________________________
    B. ______________________________________________
  2. (After)
    First, Dan fed the cats.  He went to school.
    A. ______________________________________________
    B.  ______________________________________________
  3. (As soon as)
    First, Seydou turned in the test.  Then he remembered the correct answer to one of the questions. How unfortunate!
    A. _______________________________________________
    B. _______________________________________________

Directions: Complete the sentences with your own words. Remember to put a comma if needed. (Before, after, or as soon as should be in each of your sentences.)

1.  It was the hottest day of the year. I ________________________________ as soon as I got home.

2.  They rushed him to Harborview Hospital ________________________
 __________________________________________________________.

3.  After I got to work _____________________________________________

4.  You need to get a vehicle emissions test __________________ you can get your license plate tabs.

5.  I returned to my country to visit my parents. I hadn't seen them for 8 years.  As soon as ________________________________,  ________________________

6.  _______________________________________ before I left..