In the following sentence:


I understand the meaning of 此前, which means "before this" or "until this".

However, what is the meaning of 而在此前, specifically 而在? I feel that 而在 were to be omitted, the sentence would make sense.

So is the 而在 needed here? And if so, what is the meaning and how does it function grammartically in the sentence?

  • see dictionaries (and/or grammars)here (indicates change of state) (indicates contrast) 介 (表示时间、处所、范围等): 在半夜 at midnight 在战争中 during the war 在整个历史上 throughout history
    – user6065
    Nov 20, 2017 at 15:08
  • 1
    Syntactically, I think it should break up as 而/在此前, but not 而在/此前.
    – fefe
    Nov 21, 2017 at 1:48
  • 在 can be omitted. 而此前== 而在此前== 而在此之前; 而==然而==however; 在此之前, 在此前 are prepositional phrases.
    – dan
    Nov 21, 2017 at 3:08
  • 而在此前: but before (this)
    – xenophōn
    Nov 21, 2017 at 5:02
  • 而在 used to stress a transition. It can be omitted, however the sentence would not express such strong contrast.
    – Jian
    Nov 21, 2017 at 6:12

3 Answers 3


而在此前 means "Before this".

In this context, that means before this date (2017年11月15日) or before this rule became effective.

= 然而 (conjunction 連詞)
= at / on / in (preposition 前置介詞)
= this (this date / this rule became effective)
= before

This phrase can be expanded to:



而: 然而

在: 在

此: 这

前: 之前

而在此前 = 然而在这件事发生之前

而在 can be omitted, then it will be 这件事之前.


而在此前 is used to highlight contrast, meaning: "whereas in the past"

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