Difference between AGO, BACK, and BEFORE

600+ Confusing English Words ExplainedThis is a free sample from the e-book  600+ Confusing English Words Explained. It will help clear up your doubts about how to use English words correctly, so that you can speak and write more confidently. Click here for more information!

Ago and back (informal) are used for past times from the present moment:

  • I graduated from high school ten years ago.
    (ten years in the past from today)
  • We sent the package three days ago.
    (three days in the past from today)
  • I moved here about five years back.
    (informal – five years in the past from today)

Before and earlier are used for past times from another time in the past.

Here are some examples:

  • Yesterday I missed my train. I got to the train station at 7:10, but the train had left ten minutes before. (or ten minutes earlier)
    (= at 7:00, ten minutes before 7:10 yesterday)
  • I was very happy when I got this job last June, because I had lost my previous job six months before. (or six months earlier).
    (= six months before last June)

Clear up your doubts about confusing words… and use English more confidently!

600+ Confusing English Words Explained

Click here to learn more about this e-book