Traditionally in grammars you will read that innan is a conjunction and före is a preposition. That means that you’d use innan to introduce a subordinate clause and före if you had an object afterwards, e.g.
- Vi kommer innan du åker. (We will come before you leave.)
- Vi kommer före resan. (We will come before the trip.)
However, nowadays it’s equally accepted to use innan as in the second example, as a preposition, but you cannot use före to introduce subordinate clauses, except for some Finland-Swedish dialects as far as I know.
- Vi kommer innan/före resan.
So in this example, traditionally only före would have been accepted, but nowadays you can use either före or innan.
I have had a look in my very old Svensk språklära and I think the word order is inverted because det is first in the clause. One can also say. Jag vill äta glass, men du vill inte det. Inverted word order is used when there is a question, negation or condition, in most exemples I can think of. I can not think of a sentence like that starting with innan. Hope that is of some help.
What if you only have a personal noun after före? Something like: "Vi kommer före dig." like we are going to come before you. Is it acceptable to use före in this case?
Also, this is completely separate question, "we will come" is a future tense. How come is written like a present tense "vi kommer"?
You have definitely typed out a thorough and complete answer, however I'm still totally confused. I don't see any difference in your examples. They both seem to be exactly the same. Is there a different way you can try to explain it? I'm clearly too dumb to understand the nuance.
Hey, don't berate yourself! We all struggle with different things in our learning.
What he's saying is that you use före with nouns, and innan with verbs.
However, in modern colloquial Swedish, it's very common to use innan with both verbs and nouns (but still före only with nouns).
I hear that, too, but I think it is how they pronounce their long "e" sound. When they say "te" it sounds like "tee ah". In English we write "tea" but never say the "a". So with fredag it sounds like "Free ah". I remember the Swedish long "e" sound by thinking of English words like "read" and "eat". Swedes are actually saying "ee ah" when they say their long "e" which almost sounds like they are adding an extra vowel. Anyway this is how I remember it.