I'm looking for an expression that I can use to express "back in the day, when I was young, we used to...". Something like the German damals. I'm not sure if I can use pasintece or maybe tiatempe or something similar. How would you translate it?

2 Answers 2


This is perhaps more a question about English, but as a native speaker, I'm not sure what "back in the day" adds to the actual meaning of your example phrase. Why not just say "when I was young, we used to..."? I'm more used to hearing the phrase "back in the day" used by itself. (Back in the day, we didn't even have indoor plumbing.)

I would just say kiam mi estis juna or kiam mi estis malgranda. You could also say pasinte or antaŭe if you wanted to be more vague, or en tiu tempo, kiam mi estis juna if you wanted to be more wordy.

  • I think it's more of a style thing, how one expresses oneself. In German, I'd say "damals" to show that it is a long time ago. Maybe "a long long time ago" would be a better translation. 😉 Maybe I could use a better example sentence. Oct 23, 2016 at 16:14

I think Pasintece... ("In the past...") should be fine. Antaŭe is "formerly" and tiutempe is "at that time"; tiatempe is more like "at those times".

More ruminative versions are Malnovtempe... ("In the old days..."), Tiuepoke... ("At that point in history..."), or En la iamo... ("In days of yore...")

En tempo jam de longe pasinta is an opening to a Fabelo, but more often those confine themselves to throwing in iam.

  • What is the -ec- doing there in pasintece? Is that a quality? Oct 23, 2016 at 15:55
  • It's referring to la pasinteco in the sense of la paseo ("the past"). Compare Pasintece, li uzis la bluan pordon por eniri ("In the past, he used the blue door to enter") with Pasinte, li uzis la bluan pordon ("Having passed/In the past, he used the blue door"). Oct 23, 2016 at 16:45
  • Very interesting. I'll see if I can roll all the thoughts I have on this into a coherent question and post it. Thanks. Oct 23, 2016 at 22:40

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