In my native language Slovene, we often put a sentence in the middle of another sentence to further clarify the context. An example would be,

A few years ago - being young and stupid - I was stealing neighbour's cherries.

Does this construct exist in English language and if yes, what is it called?

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    It need not be a whole sentence, it could just be a phrase (as in the example in question) or a single word. It is a 'parenthetical' that is usually delimited by a matching pair of commas, parentheses, or dashes. – Kris Apr 11 '14 at 11:16
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    There's a lot of interesting talk about it here: dailywritingtips.com/parenthetical-phrases – Kris Apr 11 '14 at 11:21
  • Whatever this construct is called, I'd use the past tense. "A few years ago, I stole.." – user66974 Apr 11 '14 at 13:42

Just like in Slovene, this is a participle clause. And just like in Slovene, it is a clause and not a sentence. It is not a complete thought that can stand on its own syntactically or semantically.

Also, just like in Slovene, such parentheticals can be set off with commas, parentheses, or dashes, but not with hyphens (which is what you have here).

As an aside, the past continuous "I was stealing" raises the question, "...when what happened?" Unless you go on to specify just that, you need the simple past "I stole" or "I used to steal".

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