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He was fifty years old when his teeth one hundred.

His dentist told him that he was grinding his teeth and the teeth wore down to the extent as if they were 100 years old. How would you say the part after when?

EDIT

His dentist told him that he was grinding his teeth and the teeth wore down to the extent as if they were 100 years old. How would you say the part after when?

I'm trying to make the full sentence as compact as possible. Alternately if I use but instead of when and say it like this:

He was fifty years old but his teeth one hundred.

would it help make sense?

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    A relatively common way to express this in English is: He was only 50, but he had the teeth of a 99-year-old. (The particular ages don't really matter.) – J.R. May 30 '17 at 19:54
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Try

He was a fifty year old with a hundred year old's teeth.

or

He was fifty years old but had the teeth of a hundred year old.

or, even shorter,

He was fifty but had the teeth of a hundred year old.

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  • Yes, these are a better alternative. One could say "He was fifty years old, but his teeth, one hundred" but it wouldn't make sense to the reader; how could a fifty-year-old have one-hundred-year-old teeth? – Kyralessa Jul 1 '18 at 15:10
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"He was fifty years old" makes sense. "but" means you have another complete thought coming after it. "his teeth one hundred" doesn't mean anything. It is nonsensical. His teeth what one hundred? His teeth were one hundred years old? If that is what you are trying to say, the short version would be "He was fifty years old but his teeth were one hundred", although you would usually say "He was fifty years old but his teeth were one hundred years old."

Pasted from earlier comment.

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    I have no problem with the version that goes: He was fifty years old but his teeth were one hundred – I don't see any need to include the "years old" at the end. As a footnote, if I were speaking instead of writing, I'd probably change "one hundred" to "a hundred." – J.R. May 30 '17 at 19:49
  • @J.R. agreed on all points, although clarify is often nice :) – Stephen S May 30 '17 at 20:09
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    Sometimes the wordier version offers more clarity and eliminates confusion; other times the extra words seem superfluous. It's really quite hard to generalize when it's better to be more specific, and when it's better to be more condensed. – J.R. May 30 '17 at 20:27

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