7

I am confused on whether I should use the infinitive form of the verb after antaŭ ol.

Lavu viajn manojn antaŭ ol forlasi la banejon.

Wash your hands before leaving the bathroom.

or

Lavu viajn manojn antaŭ ol vi forlasas la banejon.

Wash your hands before you leave the bathroom.

Are they both grammatically correct?

3

You can't have two verbs in the same clause with a different tense, therefore the second verb should have no tense, like the infinitive or a gerund, or it should be the same tense as the first. Just like in English we would say "Wash (imperative) your hands before you leave (infinitive) the washroom."

It is better to say eliri, which means to exit. Also, because the person is coming out of the washroom, the accusative or a preposition should be used.

  • Lavu viajn manojn antaŭ ol eliri la banejon.
  • Lavu viajn manojn antaŭ ol eliri el la banejo.

This is a general statement. The person may or may not be in the washroom.


If the time is specific then you need to divide it into 2 clauses with a comma and by adding the pronoun vi:

  • Lavu viajn manojn, antaŭ ol vi eliros la banejon.
  • Lavu viajn manojn, antaŭ ol vi eliros el la banejo.

The person is currently in the washroom.


You can use any tense after antaŭ ol. From the tekstaro:

  • ...ke ĉiu, antaŭ ol komenci la legadon...
  • Oni devas iri longan distancon, antaŭ ol veni al la rivero...

  • ...kien flugas la hirundoj, antaŭ ol venas nia vintro...

  • Ĉar antaŭ ol troviĝas vorto sur mia lango...

  • Ke, antaŭ ol venos la vojaĝa kaleŝo...

  • Strictly speaking leaving is not an infinitive (that would be leave), but a gerund (which -- like the infinitive -- has got no tense). – Oliver Mason Feb 6 '17 at 11:29
  • This answer seems a little confusing because the first part says that you can’t have two verbs with different tenses in one sentence but then in the second part it recommends to do exactly that. – Neil Roberts Feb 6 '17 at 20:40
  • You are right. I meant to say in the same clause, you can't have two different tenses. Edited. – Lumo5 Feb 7 '17 at 8:28
  • 1
    "Lavu viajn manojn, antaŭ ol vi forlasos el la banejo." ne estas ĝusta laŭ mi, ĉar forlasos estas transitiva kaj bezonas objekton. – Aviadisto Feb 7 '17 at 12:00
  • How would it be if one uses after instead of before? For example: He left the bathroom after washing his hands. – Alfie González Jan 31 '18 at 11:16
3

If you add the subject in the second part of the sentence you have a tense, without the subject it should be -i. The sentences listed above with -as -is -os are fine because there's a subject in that part of the sentence. Mi helpos vin antaŭ ol fari tion. I'll help you before doing that. Mi helpos vin antaŭ ol mi faros tion. I'll help you before I do that. You can't say "antaŭ ol faros tion" without "mi."

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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