What was English before?

English vocabulary about time is very rich. You can say “five years ago” (5 years ago) or you can also say “ten minutes earlier” (10 minutes earlier). In today’s post, we will discuss how to use the words ‘ago’ and ‘earlier’.

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Ago, back, before, and earlier are adverbs of time in the past.

The usage of these adverbs is similar. Only slightly different.


AGO (formerly)

We use ago to talk about a period of time from a point in time in the past to the present. For example, if an event happened “three days ago,” it means that the event happened 3 days to the present.

See also: What is English Globalization, Advantages and Disadvantages of Globalization

For example:

The meeting started five minutes ago. (The meeting started 5 minutes ago.)Jenny’s father died 15 years ago. (Jenny’s father passed away 15 years ago.)My husband and I met 20 years ago, when we were at university. (My husband and I met 20 years ago, when we were college students.)

BACK (formerly)

We use back similar to ago. This adverb is used to talk about time in the past compared to the present. This word is less formal than ago.

For example:

She moved to California about three years back. (She moved to California about 3 years ago.)John died in car accident a while back. (John died in a car crash not long ago.)I sent you the package two months back. (I sent you the parcel 2 months ago.)

BEFORE (formerly, formerly)

We use before to indicate a time before another point in time in the past.

For example:

EARLIER (formerly)

We use earlier in a similar way. This word is used in a more formal context than before.

See also: What is Cname Record – How to use Cname Record

For example:

Now practice these adverbs of time. You can make your own sentences as you like!

You can also practice using these adverbs of time with our online English teacher. Sign up for interesting lessons with Learntalk.


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