When something is in front of you, in time or in space, we say that it is "ahead." When describing time, it's similar to in the future:
- They face many problems ahead.
- There's another car ahead of yours.
- He's ahead of you. You'll have to wait until he's finished.
- She has a bright future ahead of her.
- There's a sign ahead. What does it say?
The word "ahead" is also used when someone or a group gains an advantage over someone else, especially in a competitive environment:
- They pulled ahead of the other team. Now they're winning.
- This company is ahead of the competition in producing low-cost widgets.
To "get ahead" is to save money for the future or to keep pace with your debts. This is an idiom:
- It's hard to get ahead when you have a low-paying job.
- He does what he can to get ahead.
The idiom "go ahead" means that it's your turn or your opportunity to do something or say something:
- You can go ahead of me.
- Go ahead. Answer the question.
- I don't want to go ahead right now. I'll wait.
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This page was first published on February 23, 2014. It was amended on December 29, 2014.