Why is the word "before" used at the end of the sentence? It seems "for millions of years" is just enough to describe the period of time.
Great question! Actually, “before” is necessary here to express the intended meaning of the sentence. The speaker has included it to add a better sense of the passing of time, and to indicate that he is referring to the past (“millions of years”). Although the sentence uses past tense, the use of the word “continuation” makes the meaning unclear. To express that these are events which happened in the past, indicator words like “before” or “prior” need to be used. Ex: He is a shoemaker, like the generations of his family before. Ex: She became a lawyer, like her parents before her.
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