ESL and "Before" "After" Expressions

Let’s Talk Exercise in English: Use “Before” and “After” Expressions

cat at aquarium and motivation
What motivates you to exercise?




We are all self-conscious. We worry about our appearance, mannerism, accent, etc. But above all, I think our bodies top that list of self-doubt. We could be thinner, curvier, hunkier, etc. And I agree. I was never that lanky teenager with the long legs and sinewy arms. And I always admired those who were lucky enough to possess what I thought to be the “perfect figure” from afar. That is, until I stumbled upon yoga. It was the perfect exercise for me because I never liked exercise for the sake of exercising. Yoga was more about breathing and being aware of your body than anything else. And that meditative rhythm in doing poses and breathing in and out got me hooked.



What is your type of exercise? How do you keep yourself motivated? How have you changed?



Say How Your were “Before” and How You are “After”, or Vice Versa



You don’t always have to stick to saying how you were before and then describe what changed for you after. You can also tell how you’ve succeeded now and what you couldn’t do before. You can even summarise with a general phrase like “I was not like this before” or “It was completely different in the beginning” and then describe what changed for you over time.



Doing simple sit-ups was hard for me before but now I can do both sit-ups and push-ups like nobody’s business.

Nowadays I can climb two stairs at time, no sweat. Looking back though, I used to have to stop and rest every few stairs.

I was not like this before but I’ve grown to love exercising everyday and being more active.



“Before” Words

– Previously

– In the beginning

– When I first started out


“After” Words

– Subsequently

– After a while

– As things progressed




We feel insecure in a lot of ways, and not in the least in how we look. We’d all love to be better-looking and more confident. And we need to find what motivates us to embark on that journey of change. I recently watched Big Ward on Netflix and realized that having bariatric surgery is also a form of motivation for those who are extremely obese. In the beginning, surgery starts that process of change for the individuals filmed. But in the end, it still comes down to each person to carry on that change (in weight, in diet and in lifestyle). So, try using “before” and “after” words to help you explain what changed for you after exercise, after diet, or after any big action/decision undertaken. Also remember, you don’t always have to go in chronological order when explaining “before” and “after”.

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