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I was wondering if in the following case we can substitute the bold sentence with the alternative written bellow:

  • You are a youth and should work to make a better life in the future(Says a father to his son.) When I was your age, I was working, because I knew that I must make my life and support my own family sooner or later.

Can we substitute the bold sentence above with:

  • When I was the same age as you...

I think they mean the same here. Please give me a hand with this question.

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  • I'm sure you're perfectly well aware that we don't normally say When I was the same age as you (we say When I was your age). The former would imply There was a time in the past when you and I were the same age, which maybe works in some body-hopping clone-centric immortal society, but not in the world we actually live in. Nov 2, 2020 at 13:41
  • Well @FumbleFingersReinstateMonica then could you please clarify why we can say: "He's the same age as me" or "He's my age" when you speak about someone who has lived as many years as you have?
    – A-friend
    Nov 2, 2020 at 14:24
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    Because in those contexts we're talking about two actual people who are the same age (and always were). That's a completely different context to one in which we're envisaging a past or future time when one party was or will be the same age as the other party is currently. Maybe worth noting that we're more likely to say When you're as old as I am rather than When you're my age for "future equality", but for the past situation it's usually When I was your age rather than When I was as old as you are. And you'd very rarely hear When I was as young as you are. Nov 2, 2020 at 14:43

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You could probably say "when I was the same age as you" and be misunderstood, but it is technically incorrect and someone might pull you up for it. You have never been the same age as someone younger than you and never will be. I'm not sure why you omitted the word "age" in your example - there are of course other ways that you could compare yourself to someone so you need to be specific if you mean to compare ages.

A more correct way of saying it would be "when I was the age you are now".

Really though, "when I was your age" is a perfectly idiomatic and widely used expression and I wouldn't look to change it.

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  • That was a typo @Astralbee. I have edited the thread. Just may I know what is wrong with: "When I was the same age as you..."? Logically, you could be the same age as anyone younger than your current age in the past! There is something missing here to me. May I ask you to elaborate on the point you mentioned.
    – A-friend
    Nov 2, 2020 at 13:03
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    @Afriend Unless you are in fact the same age as a person, at no time in the past (or future) can you and that person have the same age. "When I was your age" is more likely to be interpreted as "when I was as old as you are now".
    – TypeIA
    Nov 2, 2020 at 14:15
  • "When I was the same age as you [are now" is implied. But why not just say When I was your age?
    – Lambie
    Nov 2, 2020 at 14:41
  • @Lambie Again, that's exactly what I've said in my answer.
    – Astralbee
    Nov 2, 2020 at 16:09

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