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General Writing and Grammar Help/Can the expression "advance in years" mean to grow old?

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Question
Dear Ted,
Can the expression "advance in years" mean to grow old, or grow older? i.e. I don't want to advance in years.
My second question is does the expression "advancing in years" mean growing older, or growing old? In other words, do the following sentences make sense?
1. My son is quickly advancing in years. It seems like just yesterday that he was celebrating his fifth birthday and just yesterday we celebrated his tenth birthday.
2. Because my grandfather is advancing in years, he had to retire from his job as a policeman.

Answer
Dear Glen:

Can the expression "advance in years" mean to grow old, or grow older? i.e. I
don't want to advance in years.

*** Yes.  That is exactly what it mean.  There is a similar expression, which doesn't sound as
"pleasant," although it is used more often:  "Over the hill."  A person who is over the hill is in the "downward years" of his life.

My second question is does the expression "advancing in years" mean growing
older, or growing old? In other words, do the following sentences make sense?
1. My son is quickly advancing in years. It seems like just yesterday that he
was celebrating his fifth birthday and just yesterday we celebrated his tenth
birthday.
2. Because my grandfather is advancing in years, he had to retire from his job
as a policeman.

*** Both sentences are correct.  In the first example, however, I would avoid using "just yesterday" TWICE.

Ted

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Ted Nesbitt

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I am the bibliographic instruction and reference librarian at a public college. Some members of the English department recommend me to their students. I offer assistance in grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and paragraph development. My master`s thesis concerns William Faulkner`s tragic novels. I formerly taught advanced placement English at two schools in the Philadelphia area.

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I have been one of the highest-ranked volunteers in this category for more than a decade.

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B. A. and M. A in English; MSIS in Library & Information Sciences; graduate study in philosophy

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