Results 1 to 4 of 4
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,538
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #1

    at fourteen years old

    He sent me to Emmanuel College in Cambridge at fourteen years old,...

    This sentence is taken from GULLIVER'S TRAVELS. Is the phrase 'at fourteen years old' correctly used? Would 'at fourteen' or 'when I was fourteen years old' have been better?

    Thank you in advance.

  1. probus's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 2,568
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #2

    Re: at fourteen years old

    Swift lived from 1667 to 1745. He is still remembered and read today, not only by scholars but by ordinary people like me, reading for pleasure.

    Who are we to improve the language of a professional writer whose work has endured more than 300 years?

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Retired English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • England

    • Join Date: Jun 2010
    • Posts: 16,796
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #3

    Re: at fourteen years old

    Joham, Gulliver's Travels was written in 1726.

    The English language has evolved considerably in nearly 300 years.

    That said, 'at fourteen years old' does not sound out of place even today.

    Enjoy the book, but don't expect to learn modern English from it.

    Rover

    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Chinese
      • Home Country:
      • China
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Oct 2007
    • Posts: 1,538
    • Post Thanks / Like
    #4

    Re: at fourteen years old

    Thank you so much, probus and Rover KE. Then I can understand 'at fourteen years old' as not being in current usage, am I right? And how about 'a boy of fourteen years old'? Does it sound natural to native speakers?
    Thank you again.

Similar Threads

  1. [General] Phrase prior years vs. previous years
    By ziwei234 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 18-Feb-2011, 18:01
  2. 5 - years ago vs years back
    By FirstScript in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 10-Mar-2008, 09:48
  3. Fourth and fourteen ?
    By Agaja in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 21-Sep-2006, 11:44
  4. four/fourteen/forty
    By AlainK in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 01-Oct-2005, 22:18
  5. fourteen-day rule
    By mei in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 23-Jul-2003, 00:44

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •