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Examples:

I met Monica a year ago. At that time, I was living in New Work, in a middle-sized apartment overlooking the Mississippi River.

I met Monica a year ago. At the time, I was living in New Work, in a middle-sized apartment overlooking the Mississippi River.

Do they mean the same? Which is more appropriate for the example above?

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    'Yes' and 'either'. – TrevorD Jul 1 '13 at 13:39
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In the examples you provided they basically mean the same thing. That points to the physical time a year ago, while the simply refers to the known, mentioned time, which is also a year ago. So in your case they both can be used with no difference in meaning.

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