Qubyte Codes

Before and after

Published

The order of events in a Japanese sentence can be established a number of ways. This post covers four ways. The translations of some examples are given two orders, literal (what I consider the literal translation), and natural (a translation which feels a bit more natural to me without changing the meaning).

Verbs in the form.

A list of actions can be given in sequence.

  • (こう)(えん)()って(あそ)びます。
  • I went to the park and (then) played.

More than one verb may be chained up this way.

Using (まえ) (before)

The plain form of a very may be appended with (まえ) to make it come after the action which follows.

  • ()前に()(みが)きます。
  • Literal: Before going to bed, I brushed my teeth.
  • Natural: I brushed my teeth before going to bed.

Using から (after)

The form may be appended with から to indicate that it comes before the next verb.

  • ()(みが)てから()ます。
  • Literal: After brushing my teeth, I went to bed.
  • Natural: I went to bed after brushing my teeth.

Using (あと) (after)

The form of a verb may be appended with (あと) to indicade that it comes before the next verb.

  • ()(みが)た後で()ます。
  • Literal: After brushing my teeth, I went to bed.
  • Natural: I went to bed after brushing my teeth.

Using (とき) (before and after)}

(とき) can be used for both before and after, depending on the tense of the verb it is appended to.

When the verb is in the plain form, it happens after the next verb. Note that the tense of the whole sentence is carried by the latter verb.

  • ()()(みが)きました。
  • Literal: When I went to bed, I brushed my teeth.
  • Natural: I brushed my teeth before I went to bed.

When the verb is in the past form, it happens before the next verb. Again, the tense of the whole sentence is carried by the latter verb.

  • ()た時、シャワーを()びます。
  • Literal: After waking up I take take a shower.
  • Natural: I take a shower after waking up.