Before and after - antes y después

Before and after - antes y después


Today we're going to learn how to properly use antes and después.
It can seem like it's a very simple thing but actually most people make mistakes with this.

Before or after an event

When things happen "before something" we use antes de and después de This can be:

Ex: ¿Podemos hablar antes de la reunión? - Can we talk before the meeting?

Ex: Tenemos que limpiar después de la cena - We have to clean after the dinner.

Before something happens

When we use a verb, two things can happen:

Same person

The same person we talked about before, does it.

We use an infinitive in this case, no need to refer to the person again.

Ex: Antes de dormir, leo - Before sleeping, I read.

I read and I sleep, same person, no need to conjugate the verb that goes with "before" then.

Ex: Vamos a tomar algo después de trabajar - We're going to have a drink after working.

We go have a drink, we work.

Before someone else does something...

In this case, we have to add "que" to the sentence, as we're introducing another conjugated verb.
So, it'll look like this:

Antes de que + (subject) + verb in present subjunctive.

Después de que + (subject) + verb in present subjunctive.


Me levanto antes de que mi hijo se despierte - I get up before my son wakes up.

¿Vas a quedarte después de que ellos se vayan? - Are you going to stay after they leave/go?

We're talking about people here but that second subject could be something else:

Ex: Tengo que llegar antes de que el tren salga -I have to arrive before the train leaves.

Beforehand / afterwards

If there's nothing we're referring to, we usually translate like this:
- Before, before that or beforehand.
- After, after that, or afterwards.


Puedes comer, pero antes lávate las manos - You can eat but before, wash your hands.

Trabajo muchas horas por la mañana pero después descanso toda la tarde - I work many hours in the morning but afterwards I rest all afternoon.

Fui al hotel primero y después fuimos a visitar algunos museos - I went to the hotel first and after we went to visit a few museums.


Decide if in this sentences we use antes, antes de, antes de que, después, después de or después de que.

  1. ________ mi mejor amiga se mudara, estaba muy triste. - After my best friend moved, I was very sad.

  2. Primero deberes y _______ jugar - First, homework, and afterwards playing.

  3. No tienes que preguntar ________ ir al baño - You don't have to ask before going to the bathroom.

  4. _______ adoptar a mi perro, busqué mucho - Before adopting my dog, I looked around a lot.

  5. No me sentía bien, _______ Marta me dijera eso - I didn't feel well after Marta told me that.

  6. Tienes que estar seguro ______ firmar - You have to be sure before signing.

  7. _____ no me gustaba el café, ahora lo tomo cada día - Before, I didn't like coffee, now I have it everyday.

  8. _______ lloviera, no tenían agua - Before it rained, the didn't have water.

Solutions: despuésdeque/después/antesde/antesde/despuésdeque/antesde/antes/antesdeque

Hope it helped!

¡Hasta pronto! :)