much earlier than


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.)


    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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