My English is excellent, but I'd like to know whether this is grammatically correct, especially in a formal situation. My slang/day-to-day English is excellent, but I don't know if this would be grammatically correct for writing a novel or a formal e-mail.

Would it be grammatically correct to say, for example:

"He is older than me by one year."

rather than:

"He is one year older than me."

Are both correct, grammatically?


1 Answer 1


Both constructions are used and so both constructions are grammatically correct. The second is slightly better stylistically, if only because it is slightly shorter.

  • If you look about ten years older than the "he" in question, you could say he is older than me [stage pause] by...", implying that contrary to the impression that the person to whom you are speaking might have formed his youthful appearance is false. In other words, if you want to emphasise the age difference rather than just state it as a fact, you should use the first example that you give.
    – JeremyC
    Commented Feb 24, 2018 at 23:43
  • @JeremyC Thank you, but both are correct and understandable. Right? If my friend asks me about the age of my brother and I say "He is older than me by one year.", would that be grammatically correct in a formal situation?
    – Jason
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 0:06
  • They are correct and understandable, but the second makes a point more strongly. Unless you wish to make that point, the first is preferred. There would be nothing grammatically wrong with saying "He is older than me by one year" in a formal situation. If I heard someone say that, I might think that it was a slightly stiff way of speaking, probably not a native speaker, but so what? It's OK.
    – JeremyC
    Commented Feb 25, 2018 at 0:21

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