When to use "vor", "bevor" and "davor" in German
While studying German, you will sooner or later get to know “vor,” “bevor,” and “davor”. Get to know everything about choosing the correct word in this article!
Why is it so confusing?
These three words include “vor” and can be translated with “before”. Since this can quickly appear confusing, it might not surprise you that mixing up these three is a common mistake.
However, once you understand the meaning of each of them, things will soon become easier for you! So let’s dive in to get to know them better.
Recommended study materials on the topic:
- A-Grammar: Practice German grammar German (incl. answers)
- German self-study book for A1-B1 (incl. answers)
1. The German "vor"
The German word “vor” is a preposition, and when used in the sense of “before“.
- Vor dem Schlafen putze ich meine Zähne. = Before sleeping, I brush my teeth.
- Wir trinken noch einen Kaffee vor dem Test. = We’ll have a coffee before the test.
- Sie bürstet sich die Haare vor dem Duschen. = She brushes her hair before showering.
2. The German "bevor"
The German word “bevor” is a conjunction that connects two sentences. “Before” introduces a subordinate clause; consequently, the conjugated verb always comes last.
1. Ich putze meine Zähne, bevor ich schlafen gehe. = I brush my teeth before I go to sleep.
2. Wir trinken noch einen Kaffee, bevor wir den Test schreiben. = We’ll have a coffee before we write the test.
3. Sie bürstet sich die Haare, bevor sie duscht. = She brushes her hair before she takes a shower.
3. The German "davor"
The third word of this article is “davor”. This adverb gives an idea of time and can be translated with “before it / that,” or “prior to that“.
- Ich gehe schlafen, davor putze ich meine Zähne. = I go to sleep, before that I brush my teeth.
- Wir schreiben einen Test, davor trinken wir noch einen Kaffee. = We’ll have a coffee before writing the test.
- Sie duscht und davor bürstet sie sich die Haare. = She takes a shower and before that she brushes her hair.
Setting things in order
Now that you know the meaning of each word, you can act more confidently the next time you want to use them. Besides, you can always remind yourself:
- vor + nouns
- bevor + for verbs and whole sentences
- davor (Adverb) + adds time
If you liked this article, you also might want to check out when to use “als”, “wenn” and “wann” in German.
Hi there! Though I provide all blog content for free, your support will be greatly appreciated. 🙂