Ago vs Before, Learn with Memory Trick

Which is the correct sentence:
"I met her two hours ago.
               or 
I met her two hours before." One would assume both of the sentences correct if one doesn't have any idea when to use ago and before. 
In this post, vocabeasy will give a perfect idea when to ago and when to use before.





First of all, we learn about the meaning of Ago and Before.

Ago (Adverb)
Meaning:
  • it is used in expressions of time with the simple past tense to show how far in the past something happened
  • earlier, in the past
Usages:
  1. Meeting happened one hour ago.
  2. She met her ten hours ago.
  3. It happened a long time ago.

Before (Adv./Conjunction/preposition)
  • earlier than something/somebody
  1. the day before yesterday
  2. she arrived before me.
  • Before is used as a conjunction meaning until (Conjunction is used to connect sentences.)
  1. It was some time before i realized the truth.
  • As an adverb, Before means at an earlier time; in the past; already
  1. They have met her before.
  2. He comes before lunch.

Ago and Before, when to use: 
Ago is used when we are certain when the event took place in the past in the definite time. (definite time means two days, three hours, one month, five years; not some hours, some years)
An expression of time (one hour, two months, three years) must be used when the word ago is used in a sentence.
Before is used when we don't know about the time when the event took place in the past.
Examples:
I met the girl beforeIn case of ago, we write, "I met the girl three years ago". My mother was born 70 years ago.(definite time 70 years with ago) In case of before we write, "My mother was born before independence". (indefinite time independence)

According to vocabulary.com:
The adverb ago refers to a time before the present moment, sometimes in the distant past, and sometimes more recently: "She just left for her appointment ten minutes ago." When you talk about the more remote past, you might say "long ago" or "a long time ago."  

According to Longman English Grammar:
Use ago, not before, when you are saying how much time has passed since something happened. For example, don't say "he died 10 years before" say "he died 10 years ago". Don't use ago with verbs in the present perfect. Don't say "she has left 10 minutes ago". Say "she left 10 minutes ago".


Mind trick:
Ago is the short form of the word "Agone". If you divide the word, it looks like A + gone, something/somebody that has gone in the past-a definite past. In this way, you can learn that ago for past tense.

In a nutshell
Ago is used in simple past and in definite time. It is not used in perfect tense.
Before is used in indefinite time. It is used in perfect tense. It can also be used in simple past tense as an adverb, such as, I met her before, here before means earlier, in the past, already.


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