Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1400-1500
Origin: From the past participle of ago 'to pass away' (11-17 centuries), from Old English agan, from gan 'to go'

ago

adverb
     
a‧go S1 W1
used to show how far back in the past something happened
5 minutes/an hour/20 years etc ago
Her husband died 14 years ago.
long ago/a long time ago
He should have finished at university long ago, but he kept taking extra courses.
a minute/moment ago
The little girl you saw a moment ago was my niece.
a little/short while ago
Tom got a letter from him just a little while ago.
They moved to a new house some time ago (=a fairly long time ago).
We had our bicentenary celebrations not that long ago.
WORD CHOICE: WORD CHOICE:

ago, before, previously
Use ago to say how much time has passed from the time something happened to now, the time of speaking I saw her a few minutes ago. We went to Madrid two years ago. Use before to say how much time passed from the time something happened to a time in the past We went to the same hotel where we stayed two years before.Previously is used in the same way, but is more formal The meeting was a follow-up to one that had been held four days previously.GRAMMAR!! Do not use a preposition ('at', 'in', 'on' etc) before a phrase with ago They first met fifteen years ago (NOT at/in fifteen years ago).!! Do not use 'since' or 'before' with ago I came to the USA two months ago (NOT since/before two months ago).!! Use the past tense, not the present perfect, with ago I started (NOT I've started) a new job a few weeks ago.

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