Let's look at a way of expressing actions that we do before or after doing or having done something else, using antes de, después de and luego de.
Learn how to say before and after doing something in Spanish
To say "before/after doing something" we use:
For example: "Leo antes de acostarme", "Después de cenar/Luego de cenar no tomo café." See Using antes de /después de [noun/infinitive] for before/after [something/doing something] to revise this.
Learn how to say before and after "having done" something in Spanish
If you want to express "before/after having done something", then you need El Infinitivo Compuesto.
Antes de... = before...
Después de.../Luego de...= after...
Note that luego de... is slightly more formal than después de...
Using haber + El Infinitivo Compuesto emphasises the completion of the action of the main verb in the past.
For example: "Antes de desayunar"
does not emphasise the completion of the action of having breakfast: desayunar.
Compare this to "Antes de haber desayunado".
Here there is an emphasis on the action of having breakfast being completed: haber desayunado.)
Here are some examples:
- Sometimes pronouns are attached to "haber", e.g "haberte ido". Pronouns must always be attached to haber, not the participle nor placed in front, nor in between the two. For example none of these constructions are possible: "Después de te haber ido."/"Después de haber te ido."/ Después de haber ido te."
- The equivalent in English isn't always a literal translation, so you may find it is expressed differently in English. For example: "Luego de haberte ido" = After you had left.
See also Using antes de que/después de que/luego de que with indicative or subjunctive in Spanish (subordinate time clauses)
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