Here's the context.

Something that I see often happening to a lot of people including myself is we get a taste of so many different things but never go in-depth with anything. Here's something we all already know - Most things are fun and interesting in the beginning. But, in a lot of cases, we don't get very far before we start to lose interest. The thing is, this is usually when things start to get complicated and difficult. But we instinctively tell ourselves that it's just not fun anymore. And before we even realize it, we've already found something else that looks more fun .

We don't get very far before we start to lose interest.

Here, what before implies is that, something happens in an unexpected way. We usually use "before" to say an order of a series of actions. But, sometimes, we say "before" something happened in a different way. I mean, in OP, the writer might think losing interest happens first, and then not getting far happens next, which is more or less the same as we don't get far because we lose interest. But, things happen the other way, which the writer thinks is not expected. So, the writer wants to imply the unexpectness by using even and begin here. We usually start to lose interest, and then we've totally lost interest, and then we stop going in depth with that, so we don't get very far. But, the writer say we don't get very far and then we start to lose interest, which is unusual. So, before here implies not only the order of actions, but also unexpectness because they happens in a reverse way

Am I right to think this way?

  • No, you are not. 'Not getting far' happens before 'losing interest' - the meaning is quite clear. I expect you are confused because the last sentence of the highlighted paragraph is in reverse order, but it still means that 'finding something else' comes before 'realizing [that what we are doing is no longer fun]'. Mar 1, 2020 at 8:45

1 Answer 1


This has nothing to do with whether something was expected or unexpected. This is the same normal meaning of "before": it is saying that what happens is "we don't get very far" and then "we start to lose interest", in that order.

The rest of the paragraph is talking about how after we lose interest, that fact and other factors (things getting difficult) combine to make it so that, in addition to not getting very far before losing interest, we also aren't likely to go much farther after losing interest, so we give up without having gotten very far in either case.

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