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I'm having trouble trying to find a way to convey that I am x years older or younger than one of my siblings.

For example, if I had a sister that's four years older than me, the first thing that comes to mind is:

Among the visiting family members was my four-years-older sister

Which just seems incorrect. The only other thing I can think of, however, is:

Among the visiting family members was my sister, older by four years.

... which also sounds strange.

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  • Why do you need to have it all in one sentence. Why not say Among the visiting family members was my older sister. Those four years were huge when we were kids but ..." or whatever.
    – Jim
    Nov 28, 2012 at 6:43
  • @Jim, I'm stuck for space in what I'm writing.
    – mowwwalker
    Nov 28, 2012 at 6:55
  • In that case: "Family members present included my older sister(30), my younger brother (19) ..."
    – Jim
    Nov 28, 2012 at 7:24

1 Answer 1

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If you specifically want to convey this in one sentence, you could try one of:

  • Among the visiting family members was my sister who is four years my senior.
  • Among the visiting family members was my sister, elder than me by four years.
  • Among the visiting family members was my sister, older than me by four years.

As suggested in the comments, you can further improve the brevity quotient of the sentence through the use of parentheses:

Among the visiting family members was my sister (four years my senior).

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    When spatially constrained, any of these suggestions could also be shortened by two words, and using parentheses, i.e.: my sister (four years my senior), or, my sister (elder by four years).
    – J.R.
    Nov 28, 2012 at 8:59
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    elder to me by {X years} sounds like "Indian English" to me. I note that in almost every one of the 37 Google Books citations there, the author's name looks "Indian". Nov 28, 2012 at 13:10
  • @J.R. Or maybe just my sister (four years older) and my brother (two years younger)
    – Kit Z. Fox
    Nov 28, 2012 at 13:20
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    Sorry to nitpick, but unless her sister is dead I would say "...who is four years my senior." Nov 28, 2012 at 16:56
  • @FumbleFingers, I think the concept itself may be "Indian". Certainly, I would not specify the age of my sister in a letter or conversation, but in other cultures that may be of importance. I would say "my older sister", but would leave it at that unless I was asked more details.
    – Julia
    Nov 30, 2012 at 6:07

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