0
  1. Thanks to everyone to give me a chance to say something in front of you.
  2. Thanks to everyone to give me a chance to say something before you.

Do you think that the sentences stated above mean same thing?

3
  • 1
    The awkward phrasing of your example suggests that "English language learners" might be a better place for this. I'm inferring that you meant to say something like, "Thanks to everyone who gave me a chance to say something...." Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 15:38
  • Well, to start with, neither sentence is grammatical. Try "... for giving me a chance..." (instead of "to give me"). But like Tupelo said, you might get better help at ELU.
    – Marthaª
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 15:39
  • 1
    The two possible interpretations of before (spatially in front of vs chronologically earlier) are juxtaposed in the old gag: How dare you break wind before my wife? I’m sorry I didn’t know it was her turn Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 16:11

2 Answers 2

1

Generally speaking 'in front of' refers to position in space and 'before' position in time (though there are obvious exceptions).

The second example would apply when the people have given you the chance to speak before they themselves spoke. The first example would be thanking them for letting you speak whilst standing (or sitting) in front of them.

The structure of the whole sentence is a bit off though. Try this:

  1. Thanks to everyone who has given me the chance to say something in front of you.
  2. Thanks to everyone who has given me the chance to say something before you.
4

Before in everyday Modern English only refers to time. Using it for space is literary or archaic.

1
  • +1. Before in the sense of space is mainly used in the set phrase "I stand before you", but one does sound rather pompous when one uses that sort of phrasing.
    – AndyT
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 16:05

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.