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After the word “before” should use past tense?

“This picture was taken before we were blessed with a daughter into our world.”

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The tense is fine, but the end of the sentence, "into our world," doesn't make sense.

All you need to say is, "This picture was taken before we were blessed with a daughter."

If you want to add drama with "our world," you could say, "This picture was taken before our world was blessed by the arrival of a daughter."

  • By putting "our world" where you did, you've changed the meaning of the sentence – at the risk of making the speaker sound a little bit arrogant. – J.R. Jul 23 at 9:57
  • The OP expressed a desire to include that phrase, but the original sentence with it did not make sense. I provided two options that would result in a valid sentence. The first omits it at no loss, since (again) the original didn't make sense. So apparently that's the one you prefer. I also noted that the valid addition of "our world" would add drama; you can call it what you like. – Oscar Jul 24 at 1:50
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The following do not have a past-tense verb after before.

She went before a judge.

A past-tense verb precedes before, but only a noun follows it. (The sense of before is also different.)

It's always darkest before the dawn.

A present-tense verb precedes before and only a noun follows it.

Look both ways before crossing the street.

A present-tense verb precedes before and a verb using the present participle follows it.

Safety before expediency.

This is more of a motto; however, no verb is used at all.


But if a past-tense verb precedes before and a verb follows it, then the verb that follows it is normally in the past tense.


It is possible to have something like this:

He ate before swimming.

Here, a past-tense verb precedes before and a verb using the present participle follows.

However, stylistically, some people would insist on changing it:

He ate before he swam.

It's certainly true that it's never wrong to use a past-tense verb in this case, and it's arguably something that should always be done.


In the example sentence in the question, a subject is used after before. You can't use a verb in the present participle after the subject in that construction:

✘ before we blessing
✘ before we being blessed

✔ before we were blessed

So, only the past tense in possible in that particular sentence.

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