I prayed so to see you before I died.

This above sentence was situated in present, but why this is not 'I prayed so to see you before I die'?

  • "This above sentence was situated in present" But that feels like past to me.... Jun 6, 2017 at 14:58
  • Who tells you it must be "before I died"?
    – TimR
    Jun 6, 2017 at 14:58
  • The question title should be edited to summarise the question. You have not given any source for the quote. Please edit your question to fix.
    – James K
    Aug 14, 2017 at 15:59

3 Answers 3


Side note: You shouldn't say "so", just "I prayed to see you before I die/died".

It makes more sense to me to say "die". Presumably if the person is saying this, he hasn't died yet, so "died" should not be in past tense. Unless the conversation is happening in Heaven or the speaker is a ghost or some such.


The speaker is talking about how he wants things to be when he is dead. He wants it to be said that he saw the person addressed before he died. Because he is viewing things from a perspective after his future death, he refers to his death in the past tense.

This sentence may be more understandable if we expand it:

I prayed so [very much] to [have] see[n] you before I [will have] died.


Without the context of the situation prior, but given the fact that this is stated as present-tense, this could be a spiritual conversation as death occurs. You'll see this occasionally with books that dive into the spiritual and paranormal.

Say we have two brothers (Mike and Todd) for example. Mike and Todd haven't spoke in years and both are highly spiritual individuals. Unknown to Mike, Todd passed away a little over a year ago. Mike passed away prior to the line being spoke and is encountering his brother Todd in the spiritual afterlife. Todd tells Mike that they are both dead and Mike responds tearfully:

I prayed so to see you before I died.

Another case may be in the case of impending death where the individual is locked in their subconscious and believe they are already dead, even though they are not; they could hallucinate seeing someone they wish were at their side and say:

I prayed so to see you before I died.

This statement in both cases could be followed by something like:

I guess that prayer wasn't going to be answered after all.

It also heavily depends on the writer's particular style and how they felt about the sentence prior to writing it.

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