antes & depois in Portuguese


I've been writing about how de hooks-up with certain verbs to change meaning or say specific things. Coisa linda, não é? Now, let's look at what de does when coupled with with the words antes & depois.

I'm going to avoid the grammar-talk and not even use the word adverb again EXCEPT for this excerpt from some serious looking language site...

A word or phrase that modifies or qualifies an adjective, verb, or other adverb or a word group, expressing a relation of place, time, circumstance, manner, cause, degree, etc. (e.g., gently, quite, then, there). ‘The real challenges always came with the sophisticated adjectives, the adverbs, and the intransitive verbs.’

antes & depois & de, de, de

In English it's pretty simple.

I'll go shopping before noon.
I love to work out after work.

To say the same things in Portuguese, just add a de. Like this:

Eu vou fazer compras antes do meio dia. » I'll do it before noon.

*Notice that we're saying ...antes de o meio dia which gets combined into ...antes do meio dia.

Eu adoro malhar depois do trabalho. » I love to work out after work.

It's like you're saying before of & after of...
It's really the same thing we do when using words describing place & position: longe + de; perto + de; ao lado + de; em cima + de; de baixo + de... and so on.

Here come the verbs.

But what if a verb follows? What if you're describing action? The answer is simple: just add a de as shown above. But it's much harder to make sense of and thus - harder to recall. That's because when you pair a verb in it's infinitive with de this always translates to an ing word. Am I getting too grammarly? Nope. Besides, "ing-words" is street slang used by the Proud Boyz.

But seriously, the confusing thing is that you probably learned that to say something like: "I'm running" it's = Eu estou correndo. This is called the Present Progressive tense and it's also used to say "ing-words" BUT only when used with ESTAR. In other words: only when you're talking about DOING something right now (PRESENTLY) ~ action UNDERWAY. Any other way of using "ing-words" is done like this:

de + VERB

And, the VERB is in the infinitive!

de CORRER = running
de MALHAR = working-out
de ALMOÇAR = eating lunch (lunching!)

[Grammarly fact: *In Portugal they say for example: Eu estou de correr!] It's a Brazilian invention to use the ando, endo, indo endings to express "ing" when used to say DOING SOMETHING ~ the Present Progressive

So let's do it - let's say things like, before running out of gas; after learning how to kiss properly; before learning to fly; after conquering Brazil...

Ela decidiu ir embora depois de beber demais. » She decided to leave after drinking too much.
Eu quiz falar com ela antes de ir embora. » I wanted to speak with her before leaving.

*On each of these 2 you could say "leaving" either with SAIR (to go out, leave) or IR EMBORA (to go away, leave).
In general, SAIR means to go out - onto the street, see and be seen.

Antes de morrer nós vamos para o Brasil! » Before dying we're going to Brazil!
Depois de falar contigo me sinto melhor. » After talking to you I feel better.

*Notice the reflexive pronoun, me.

antes & depois in their natural states.

Do antes & depois ever exist in their natural, native, un-vaccinated state? Sure! For example...

Nunca vi nada assim antes. » I've never see anything like this before.
A gente conversa melhor depois, tchau. » Do you know which goes after?

But beware! Look what happens the minute anything's added:

Nunca vi nada assim antes dessa festa. » I've never see anything like this before the party.
A gente conversa melhor depois do show, tchão. » We'll talk better after the show.
It's as if you really need to say "after of something..." & "before of something..." when using antes & depois in Portuguese.

Let's look at some common examples...

Antes & Depois in Action