The shell bone script for character Before is
is a foot.
The middle is a horizontal line, meaning the ground.
is a human or person.
A person follows a foot, which is somebody's foot, who is in front of him or before him.
The small seal script for the character is
The clerical script is
Right now, the character means Before, In front of, Priority, Earlier, Ancestor, etc. Something in advance or before either in physical position, or time, or priority, normally by combining with another character to form word to distinguish the subtle difference, for example: 先前，先到，先辈，优先，etc., which is belong the content of this blog.
The Pinyin for the character is Xian1.