Like in the title, I wanted to say something like "I'm no longer that way, it was long long ago", so should it be "ages ago" or "ages before"? For some reason, the first instinct was "ages ago", then it is an "I have been......" pattern, somehow, I felt "ago" just doesn't fit here? Plzzzzz help

  • As @rintaun says, the normal usage is "ages ago". However, you can use "ages before" in a relative construction, when referring to two periods in the past. For example, "The last of the dinosaurs vanished in the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction event; ages before, however, the Permian Extinction Event destroyed even more species."
    – Robusto
    Commented Jun 26, 2011 at 12:37

1 Answer 1


First things first: in this case, it's "ages ago." Using "before" seems to require some kind of extra information, e.g. "ages before I turned thirty."

Additionally, you should probably be using the past tense:

I went through that stage ages ago.

The present perfect (of which "have been" is an example) is used to express an unspecified time before the present. That's why "ages ago" didn't seem to mesh: because you were specifying the time. On the other hand, either of the following would work just fine, because the time remains unspecified.

I've been through that stage.

I've been through that stage many times.

Hope this helps.

  • What if I just wanna empasize that it was "long long ago" thing? How else can I say it?
    – Daisy
    Commented Jun 26, 2011 at 3:38
  • @Daisy: As I said in my answer, "I went through that stage ages ago" would probably work nicely. Alternately, you could use "years ago," "forever ago," or any similar expression.
    – rintaun
    Commented Jun 26, 2011 at 3:45

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