Student or Learner
"By this time he was thirty."
1. What does 'by this time' mean?
2. I assume 'he was thirty' means 'he was thirty years old.' Why 'was'? Why not 'is'? In short, why past tense?
3. Is 'time' countable here?
1 At the point of time in the narrative. Presumably it covers the time before and after this.
2 He must be older than that or dead now.