Before and After

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This week, we just wanted to send a quick reminder on how to use antes and después. It’ll only take one minute to read it, and it will help you avoid some common mistakes in the future.

Here it goes: If we want to say that we did an action after doing another action, we have two options in English:

1. I went to the gym. After going to the gym, I ate dinner.
2. I went to the gym. After I went to the gym, I ate dinner.

In the first example, we are using “going,” which is the gerund. In the second example, we are conjugating the verb in the past tense (“I went”).

Here comes the important part: in Spanish, the only way to do this is with the infinitive of the verb. We can’t use the gerund. We can’t conjugate the verb. Only the infinitive is allowed.

So, before you see it below, try to think for a second how you would translate the example above (and remember that antes and después are always followed by de when we use them with an object, as in after [something], before [something]).

Here’s the only way to say this in Spanish:

Fui al gimnasio. Después de ir al gimnasio, cené.

We can’t say “después de yendo,” we can’t say “después de fui.” We can only say “después de ir.”

Practice – Translate the following sentences into Spanish:

1. I ate an apple after I ate a banana.
2. I ate an apple. After I ate an apple, I ate a banana.
3. After visiting my parents, I called my sister.
4. We finished our homework after calling Peter.
5. They went to Peter’s house. After watching TV with him, they left.
6. After we cooked our dinner, we watched TV.

Find the correct answers at the bottom of the page!


Our new mural in Chicago

Finally, we just wanted to share a picture of the mural that Rubi Nogueron has painted in our Chicago location. It’s like 12 by 6 feet (pretty big!) and it looks amazing!


If you have a minute, you should check out Rubi’s website. She’s a fantastic artist 🙂


Correct answers for Practice – Translate the following sentences into Spanish:
1. Comí una manzana después de comer un plátano/una banana. 2. Comí una manzana. Después de comer una manzana, comí un plátano/una banana. 3. Después de visitar a mis padres, llamé a mi hermana. 4. Terminamos nuestra tarea después de llamar a Peter. 5. Ellos fueron a la casa de Peter. Después de mirar/ver [la] televisión con él, se fueron. 6. Después de cocinar nuestra cena, miramos/vimos [la] televisión.

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