"He moved out at age 20."
Could "at" be dropped without ill effects?
I meant could "at" be dropped without the sentence being marked wrong?
No, leave it there.
I'd say, in written/formal contexts certainly use 'at'. It's grammatically correct.
In spoken/informal contexts you could leave 'at' out and be understood. The only reason I can see for leaving it out is that it's slightly easier and quicker to pronounce the sentence 'He moved out aged 20' than 'He moved out at age 20'.
I would never drop "at" there. I would consider dropping "aged" there, though.
He moved out at 20. She married at 18. She had her first child at 24.
I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.
— used to indicate an age or time
▪ He plans to retire at (age) 65. ▪ He called us at (about/exactly) 9 o'clock on July 24. ▪ at dawn/noon/sunset/night ▪ I still think of her at certain moments/times. ▪ He was president of the company at (the time of) his death.
Last edited by sunsunmoon; 01-Jun-2011 at 10:01.
Maybe it's a BrE difference, but I would use at the age of/aged 20.