I was doing an exercise and came across this:

My friends ... a leaving party before they ... abroad.(have, go)

So what would be the correct one and why:

My friends will have a leaving party before they go abroad.

My friends will have a leaving party before they will go abroad.

Seems that the first one is more natural, but could you please give some explanation?

  • 1
    Usually, a good-bye or farewell party. ****Before**** never takes will. The usual tenses that can follow it are; present, simple past, pluperfect or present perfect. Like when.
    – Lambie
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:17
  • I feel like this question actually comes up a lot here, but I'm not sure how to search for it.
    – stangdon
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:18
  • @Lambie - I think it's a not quite correct to say "before never takes will". "I bet I'll get home before you will!" sounds natural enough to me, although I'd rather say "before you do".
    – stangdon
    Oct 13, 2017 at 18:21
  • 1
    "Before" is like "if", "when", "after" in this respect: none of them normally admit "will": hence "My friends will have a party before/after/when/if they go abroad". However, there are exceptions. If by "before" we were expressing preference rather than chronology, we could use "will": "He'll make a deal with the devil before he'll go abroad" could mean roughly "he'd sooner make a deal with the devil than go abroad".
    – rjpond
    Oct 13, 2017 at 21:11
  • I bet I'll get home before you do.
    – Lambie
    Oct 13, 2017 at 21:46

1 Answer 1


An attempt at a short answer: will (verb) means that the action of verb-ing is in the future, basically.

We want to say "X will happen before Y" where Y is some action in the future; "go abroad" in this case. But right now, they already will Y, because the going abroad is in the future. Therefore it doesn't make sense to say that something will happen before they will Y, because they already "will Y".

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .