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cóng qián
n. in the past, before
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从前 can only be used to refer to something that happened in the past and it can only be used alone by itself:
我们从前是好朋友。 [phr] We were good friends before.
我从前没来过。 [phr] I've never been here before.

从前 is quite different from 以前, although the two look very similar. Please also check out the usages of 以前 in trainchinese.
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