After and Before an Action: てから and まえに

In our daily lives, it's common to say that we will perform one action and then another or vice versa. In this article, we will learn about "Te kara" and "Mae ni." These are used to indicate that we will perform one action after another (Te + kara); or perform one action before another (Mae + ni).

Te kara

Note: Before learning Te kara, it is necessary to understand the Te form conjugation of verbs. If you haven't seen it yet, we recommend our article on the Te form of verbs already published on the site.

あさごはん を たべます。- Eat breakfast.

がっこう へ いきます。- Go to school.

If we want to say that we will perform a first action and only then perform a second action, we use Te + kara. Suppose we want to say: We will eat breakfast and then go to school. We take the first action, conjugate the verb to the Te form, add "kara," and finally, the second action. If we do this, we will have:

あさごはん を たべてから がっこう へ いきます。- After eating breakfast, I will go to school.

Although it may sound a bit strange, we can also say:

がっこう へ いってから あさごはん を たべます。- After going to school, I will eat breakfast.

Example Sentences

べんきょう してから ゲーム を やります。- After studying, I will play games.

ほん を よんでから ねます。- After reading the book, I will sleep.

しゅくだい を すんでから ともだち と あそびます。- After finishing the homework, I will play with my friend.

Mae ni

ばんごはん を たべます。- Eat dinner.

シャワー を あびます。- Take a shower.

If we want to say that we will perform a second action before the first one, we use Maeni. Suppose we want to say: Before eating dinner, we will take a shower. We take the second action, conjugate the verb to its dictionary form (jishokei) + Maeni, and finally, the first action to be performed. If we do this, we will have:

Example Sentences

ばんごはん を たべる まえに シャワー を あびます。- Before eating dinner, I will take a shower.

しんぶん を よむ まえに コーヒー を のみます。- Before reading the newspaper, I will drink coffee.

かいしゃ へ いく まえに たばこ を すいます。- Before going to the company, I will smoke.

テレビ を かう まえに しらべます。- Before buying a TV, I will research.

Understanding the usage of "Te kara" and "Mae ni" is essential for constructing accurate and meaningful sentences in Japanese. "Te kara" helps you express actions that follow one another, emphasizing the sequence in which events occur. Conversely, "Mae ni" allows you to highlight actions that precede another, making it clear which action must be completed first. By mastering these structures, you can enhance your ability to describe sequences and timing of events, thus improving both your comprehension and communication in Japanese. Practice these forms with various verbs and contexts to gain confidence and fluency in their usage.