Grammar Info

N2 Lesson 5: 3/18


Before, Prior to, In preference over


Verb + 先立(さきだ)(1)
Noun + 先立(さきだ)(1)
Noun (A) + 先立(さきだ) + Noun (B)

(1) に先立


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About に先立ち

Being a combination of に and the う-Verb 先立(さきだ)つ 'to take the lead', or 'to precede', this structure connects to both nouns and verbs in their dictionary forms, to indicate that (B) is a preliminary step required for (A). It may be interpreted as 'before (A), (B)', 'prior to (A), (B)', or 'in preference over (A), (B)'.
Despite these several interpretations, the literal meaning of 'standing before (A), (B)' can be useful to remember, as it highlights the importance of (B) as a first step.
As 先立(さきだ)つ is a verb, it may be seen in its dictionary from when followed directly by another noun, or in its て-form when indicating the whole (B) phrase as preceding (A). Additionally, the formal-conjunctive form, 先立(さきだ)ち will often be used in preference of the て-form, as 先立(さきだ) is a formal grammar structure.
  • (あたら)しい機械(きかい)導入(どうにゅう)する先立(さきだ)って色々(いろいろ)会社(かいしゃ)のサイトを()てスペックを比較(ひかく)します。
    Prior to installing a new machine, I will visit websites of various companies to compare the specs.
  • 映画(えいが)公開(こうかい)先立(さきだ)予告編(よこくへん)公開(こうかい)された。
    Prior to the release of the movie, the trailer was released.
  • 引越(ひっこ)先立(さきだ)1(にち)(まえ)洗濯機(せんたっき)冷蔵庫(れいぞうこ)水抜(みずぬ)きをしておかなければならない。
    Washing machines and refrigerators must be drained one day prior to moving.
Fun-fact - 先立(さきだ)つ may often be seen paired with (もの), and is a set expression in these cases that translates similarly to 'means' in English. This 'means' refers to the prerequisites required to enable something, and will usually appear in negative sentences, in order to show that one 'does not have the means to do (A)'.
  • 海外(かいがい)移住(いじゅう)したいけど、先立(さきだ)つものがない
    I want to move abroad, but I don't have the means to do it.
  • (あたら)しい(くるま)()いたいけど先立(さきだ)つものがない
    I want a new car, but I don't have the means to buy one.


  • あるゲーム通知(つうち):「冒険(ぼうけん)(いど)先立(さきだ)って仲間(なかま)(あつ)。」

    Certain game: 'You must gather your party before venturing forth.'

  • このアプリの使用(しよう)先立(さきだ)、ライセンス契約(けいやく)()んでおいてください。

    Please read the license agreement prior to running this application.

  • 発光(はっこう)ダイオードの登場(とうじょう)先立(さきだ)蛍光(けいこう)(とう)(もっと)一般(いっぱん)(てき)(しょう)エネライトの一種(いっしゅ)だった。

    Prior to the emergence of light emitting diodes (LED), fluorescent lights were the most common energy-efficient light type.

  • 産業(さんぎょう)革命(かくめい)という時代(じだい)先立(さきだ)(いま)とは(ちが)って(だい)多数(たすう)(ひと)農場(のうじょう)(はたら)いていた。

    Prior to the industrial revolution, unlike now, the majority of people worked on farms.

  • PCケースを()ける先立(さきだ)(まん)(いち)のためにまず電源(でんげん)()っておかなければならない。

    Before opening the computer case, as an extra precaution, you have to turn off the power.

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