How To Use Conjunctions (3)




(Courtesy to

 I would suggest you should read the paper at, where those diagrams shown above are located. This paper is rather for advanced learners or people like grammarians. So, that’s totally fine if you are not interested in reading it. It is, however, extremely resourceful if you are able to appreciate it. 


(Review of ‘Subordinating Conjunction)

 Let’s discuss “mae (= before)” and “ato (= after)” today! 

 [Mae] According to “Japanese Grammar” (Keiko Uesawa Chevray/Tomiko Kuwahira, McGraw-Hill, 2011), “Mae” is an independent noun which means “the front” in English. The Clause or noun phrase of “mae” indicates “the time before -” in English. The subject in the clause of “mae” is marked by “ga” because it is a subordinate clause. The particle “ni,””wa,” or “ni wa” may follow “mae” depending on the context.

 I. Noun + no mae ni

 Yuhan-no mae ni te-wo aratte kudasai. (= Please wash your hands before dinner.)

 II. Verb + mae ni : Use ‘the non-past plain form‘ in the “mae” clause.

 Dekakeru mae ni heya-wo soji shinasai. (= Clean up your room before you go out.)

 [Ato] Once again, according to “Japanese Grammar,” a phrase or a sentence followed by”ato” indicates “the time after doing so and so -” in English. When the subject in the subordinate clause is different from the one in the main clause, it is marked by the particle “ga.” The particle “de” or “wa” may be added to “ato” depending on the context.

 I. Noun + no ato (de)

 Ranchi-no sugu ato hashittewa ikemasen. (= Do not run right after lunch.) 

 II. Verb (past-plain) + ato (de)

 Supiich-wo shita ato totemo nodo-ga kawaki mashita. (= I became extremely thirsty after I made a speech.)


Verb (non-past plain) “MAE” VS.

Verb (past plain) “ATO”



(Try saying those sentences above in Japanese! – “Before” and “After” ONLY!)

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