All About the French Word Auparavant

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The French word auparavant (adv), pronounced "o pa ra va(n)," means beforehand or previously and is used when describing what happened prior to your current situation such as "a week before" or "a few weeks back."

Examples and Common Expressions

Il avait déjà fini le travail une semaine auparavant - He had already finished the work a week before.

Je veux bien écouter l'histoire, mais cherchons une boisson auparavant.

- I really want to hear the story, but let's get a drink first.

Related: avant (preposition or adverb) - before

What's the difference? Avant is used in simple present and past constructions, whereas auparavant is used to emphasize that the thing happened before the current situation (similar to the pluperfect). In my second example above, avant would also be acceptable.


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Lawless, Laura K. "All About the French Word Auparavant." ThoughtCo, Jun. 4, 2017, Lawless, Laura K. (2017, June 4). All About the French Word Auparavant. Retrieved from Lawless, Laura K. "All About the French Word Auparavant." ThoughtCo. (accessed October 22, 2017).