These two words have the similiar meaning in my native language. Is there actual difference between them? For instance:

It's going to snow before long.


It's going to snow soon

I'm not sure in the latter example at all.

  • 1
    They are pretty much identical in meaning.
    – Jim
    Aug 9, 2014 at 4:39

1 Answer 1


They have identical meaning. Before long is poetic (and maybe slightly archaic). I imagine my grandfather saying it. It can be abbreviated 'ere long to be even more poetic.

Shakespeare's 73rd sonnet ends:

This thou perceiv'st, which makes thy love more strong,

To love that well, which thou must leave ere long.

So in common usage, I'd stick with soon.

  • But "before ya know it" is still quite common.
    – Jim
    Aug 9, 2014 at 20:37

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