Before - 'sula/sular' or 'roimh'?
There are two words for ‘before’ in the Irish language, but how do you know which one to use?
Here’s the golden rule:
Use ‘sula / sular’ before verbs, and use ‘roimh’ before nouns.
Yep, it’s that simple.
Here are a few examples using ‘roimh’:
Beidh siad anseo roimh am lóin.
They will be here before lunchtime.
Tagann sí ar cuairt gach bliain roimh an Nollaig.
She comes on a visit every year before Christmas.
Níor ith sé mórán roimh a dhinnéar.
He didn’t eat much before his dinner.
Sula / sular
And a few examples using sula /sular…
These are used before verbs.
Bí cinnte faoi sula ndéanfaidh tú cinneadh
Be sure about it before you make a decision
D’ól sé cupán tae sular* ghlan sé an chistin
He drank a cup of tea before he cleaned the kitchen.
Thóg sé an t-airgead sula ndearna sé an obair
He took the money before he did the work.
Chríochnaigh mé mo chuid oibre sula ndeachaigh mé abhaile.
I finished my work before I went home.
(Aside - use ‘sular’ in the past tense, apart from before 6 of the 11 irregular verbs in the past - ‘déan’ and 'téigh' being two of those six: sula ndearna mé é (before I did it); sula ndeachaigh mé abhaile (before I went home).