I want to say that something happened yesterday and put emphasis on the fact it was only yesterday, that is recently. Can I put it like this:
I saw him no longer ago than yesterday.
And if I am mistaken, how would you say it, then?
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To add to Gill’s answer.
Assuming you did not see him before yesterday and saw him yesterday.
Assuming you saw him yesterday and also saw him before then.
To add to Ian's answer, the type of construction used in
It was only yesterday that I last saw him.
is called a cleft sentence. Cleft constructions are used to stress one or other part of a sentence.
The cleft construction seems like a nice way to express the Russian "не далее чем вчера", "не далее как вчера" ("no longer ago than yesterday").