Learn English – “A year ago” versus “a year back”


I recently came across an article printed in our school magazine, which read, "I studied that a year ago". But, doesn't "I studied that a year back" sound better?

What's your say?

Best Answer

I would think that "a year ago" is the phrase normally used. Looking at the data reported by the Corpus of Contemporary American, I can create the following chart.

CoCa results

"Year ago" and "years ago" are the most used phrases, at least in American English.

Looking at what reported by the British National Corpus, I obtain the following data.

BNC result

"Year ago" and "years ago" are still the most used phrases, compared to "year back" and "years back".
Differently from what reported from the Corpus of Contemporary American, "year back" and "years back" are not used in academic contexts.