Suppose person-1 has achieved a milestone today and person-2 achieved two years ago.

Now how can I emphasise on this time difference? Since Before is not an Adjective it doesn't have Comparative or Superlative degree.

I've some ideas like:

  • Person-2 has achieved this long before
  • Person-2 has achieved this way long before
  • Person-2 has achieved this way too much before

Which option would express the sense more appropriately?


Before can be used as an adjective, but its common use is as a conjunction ("A had achieved that before B did"). For this sentence, the emphasis can be achieved by using "way before B" or "long before B".

You may want to consider the following alternatives:

  • Person-2 has achieved this long ago (informal superlatives: long long ago, ages ago) - This is not a conjunction and does not compare to B.
  • Person-2 has achieved this earlier (superlatives: much earlier, way earlier). Can be made comparative: "way earlier than B".
  • If Before can be used as adjective, what are its comparison forms? May 20 '19 at 19:35

Welcome to ELL StackExchange. :)

I would go with "long before" for written communication. "Way long before" seems to me a bit unidiomatic and more appropriate in spoken communication. Some other words you could use instead of "long" that come to mind are

  • much before
  • so much before
  • very much before
  • so very much before (The amount of emphasis here is a bit superfluous, but it's not incorrect)
  • way before

Instead of "before" one could use "earlier".

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