a little bit older

matt_hilton

Member
Spanish Argentina :)
Hello,

I´m making a description , how can I say "he is a little bit older" in a formal register ? I thought of "He is barely older "? What do you think? I´m not so sure if there´s a change in meaning.

Thanks.
 
  • Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    To use either of your suggestions, you should be comparing his age to some other age. Perhaps you can describe the situation in more detail.
     

    matt_hilton

    Member
    Spanish Argentina :)
    It´s because that´s just a piece of my description. I was making a contrast. "He is 20 , but you could say he looks a litlle bit older ". Anyway, what I need to know is if it´s ok "he looks barely older" as an alternative to "he looks a little bit older " without a change in meaning to make it sound more formal register.

    Thanks
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    That's the reason we ask for complete sentences. :)

    He's 20, but he looks a bit older. :tick:
    He's 20, but he looks barely older. :cross:

    In reality, I think we'd say, "He's 20, but he looks older." We will normally assume he looks perhaps 25, rather than 40. We won't think you mean that he's 20 but he looks 21 – we don't make those sorts of fine distinctions when we hear the sentence.
     
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