much earlier than

ridgemao

Senior Member
Chinese - Mandarin
Hello, everyone:

This was the conversation between me and my son:

Dad: When did you first go to the beach ?
Son: When I was 5 years old.
Dad: Actually, the first time you went to beach was much earlier than that.
Son: Do you mean when I was 3 years old?
Dad: No, when you were 2 years old, pretty far from now.

Is it good to use "earlier" to refer to a few years? I normally use it to refer to a few hours or a few days.

Thank you.
 
  • heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'Earlier' is fine in that sentence. You could also say ' . . . a long time before that'.

    ('Pretty far from now', however, doesn't sound at all natural.)
     

    Dretagoto

    Senior Member
    Inglés británico
    Yup, earlier is absolutely fine, and common. It can mean any of a range of times, from recent past to aeons. "Far from now" refers to the future, and not the past, however - instead of "far from now" you could say "pretty long ago" or "a pretty long time ago", something like that.
     
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