Hi there, should I use the before the verbal noun in the following sentence?

Here is the sentence:

1- John, you should come at 11 A.M before (the) beginning of the game. 

I know I can write "John, you should come at 11 am before the game begins."

My question is, in this kind of context should I need to use the?

Original Post
subhajit123 posted:

Hi there, should I use the before the verbal noun in the following sentence?

Here is the sentence:

1- John, you should come at 11 A.M before (the) beginning of the game. 

Hi, Subhajit: If you wish to refer to the beginning of the game, you must use "the." You cannot say "before beginning of the game." You could say "You should do this before beginning the game"; however, that would have a totally different meaning. It would indicate that John is to be the initiator of the game, the one who causes the game to begin.

Hi, Subhajit,

I'd only like to add something to David's excellent answer, and that is that, whenever you have a postmodifier like "of the game," you will need the article, whether the noun has verbal origin (i.e. is a gerund) or not:

- You should come before the start of the game.

- You should come before the commencement of the game.

(Of course, "beginning" would be the most usual of the three, and "commencement" would be definitely formal.)

The gerund has nominal value but has a strong verbal force, which causes it to take verbal modifiers (i.e. objects or complements) rather than nominal ones (like prepositional phrases) in the absence of an article. Compare:

a. The beginning of the game was boring.

b. Beginning the game was boring.

In line with David's explanation, in (b) the person involved (who may be the narrator or some character) began the game. In (a) the game may have started without the narrator's or any character's participation.

Also, I'm not sure that I agree with your punctuation. I think a comma would be required between "at 10 A.M." and "before the beginning of the game."

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