I was once your

Hi @Alan, @Arinker, @Anglophile, @NearlyNapping

Is it ok for a teacher or parent to say: ‘I was once your age, you know…’

Thanks in advance.


I was your age once.
I was once your age.
I once was your age.

These all mean the same thing. I don’t know what the consensus is, but I prefer the first one.

I used to be your age.’ is also natural and maybe more common than any of the above.

Adding ‘you know’ makes it more stern or authoritative, and maybe a little condescending. It “puts them in their place”.


A parent could definitely say these.
A teacher would be less likely to compare the teenager’s problems to their own personal younger years.


Thanks for your reply NN, :

You see my cousin asked me to keep an eye on my first cousin once removed. She is16 years old and asked me if she could go to the cinema with a lot of her friends. I said: ‘I will allow you to, but don’t do anything I wouldn’t do.’ She replied: ‘What do you mean Marc’? I replied: ‘I was your age once too, you know.’ It was not to put her in her place, but I was worried about her, yet she is smart enough not to do anything stupid, you know, hanging around with boys of her age… Oh you know what I mean. I guess I’m a bit of drama queen. :rofl: :heart:


Ah, the context that I believe NN and I assumed was:
Teen: “You don’t understand me!.”
Parent: “I used to be your age once, you know!”

Yours was more of an explanation.

This saying is usually used flippantly between adults. Saying it to your cousin, you’re treating her like an adult.


Hi Arinker,

What you say is absolutely true. There is a difference between a teacher-student relationship and then it has absolutely the meaning of putting someone in their place. But my cousin is family and then you have to make them aware of what an adult should and should not do. Why, because it differs from teacher-student relationship. I care a lot about my cousin. I’m also her godfather and she didn’t get the chance to get to know her grandmother, my aunt, because she passed away a long time ago; she didn’t even have the chance to meet her greataunt, my mother, my aunt’s sister, but she knows me and we both get along very well. I love her. Therefore, I wouldn’t like to see anything bad happening to her.
When I was teaching (I haven’t done that for many years now, because I have lot physical problems) I cared about my students, but sometimes I had to put them in their place. That’s where you and NN are right. I think I’ve made that clear in the first paragraph of this post.

Love you

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There is nothing wrong with it. When children or students try to behave in an unbecoming way, parents or teachers may use such a statement. It is usually the result of their being indignant at what must have happened or been spoken.

Earlier, I used to hear it with the preposition ‘of’ like ‘When I was of your age’ or ‘Once I was also of your age’ etc. Now it is done away with. Language evolves!

The use of the adverb ‘once’ may be placed according to the mood of the speaker. Rather the choice is up to you as we have discussed it elsewhere.