It can be used with:
for, in, takes, took, be, were, was, before, after; and each way of using it is slightly different.
The meaning of “ages” is simple, but the senses in which it is used are more difficult to grasp:
- a long time; a very long time
- an eternity
- a longer time than the speaker wants
- an amount of time that the speaker considers significant
- often used as a way of complaining that whatever is wanted is taking or will take too much time
- for ages
- in ages
- takes ages
- it will be ages
- you were ages
- it was ages
- ages before
- after ages
- I haven’t seen you in ages – you look different.
- We haven’t been here for ages; we must come here more often.
- It takes ages to learn to play the guitar.
- It took ages to get there.
- It will be ages before we get our exam results.
- I will not be able to meet her for ages because I have so much work on.
- You were ages in the bathroom. What were you doing?
- I was ages putting this proposal together. I hope they like it.
- I met her online about 2010, but it was ages before I met her in real life.
- The restaurant was lovely and the conversation was good, but it was ages before they brought the food.
- I have not seen her going to temple in ages.
Origin is unknown. However the word ages represents a vey long time, because of its use in denoting periods of history : the bronze age, the stone age. Also: through the ages, which means throughout centuries.
- an age