Mac shuts down after start up and before it was acting very slow, please help!!!

Recently my imac has been running unusually slow when I open/close apps or when loading things, it sometimes would freeze or take about 20 secs to load etc.
So in an attempt to fix it it cleared all unnecessary files from my computer but nothing too technical.
Then yesterday i was told by my brother to go onto disk utilities and verify/repair the disk. Both times it failed and further repeats failed. After the repair disk failed a message along the lines of "back up data you want then restore the disk" something like that.
Now today when I started up my computer in the morning it was fine, then a couple of hours ago I restarted it, and now it won't turn on properly. It goes to the apple icon with a spinning loading wheel and a empty bar underneath and after about 20 secs it shuts down. So then I did the thing where you hold down cmd and r to open osx utilities and went to disk utilities again to try and repair/verify the disk and again the same failure and messages came up suggesting to restore my disk.
Being 16 I only understand so much and understand that I will probably have to put in the installation disk or something and "re do my computer from scratch." But I do have things I want to back up before I do so but due to the load up problem I have no way of backing up photos, music and files and i don't know if the time machine has backed up the data for me (I don't really understand the time machine). I'm currently using my phone to post this, any help would be greatly appreciated because I don't really know what else to do now. My imac is 21.5 inch that I bought around 2years ago late december time. Thank you for your time

Sounds like a classic HD failure. Take the machine to your local Apple Store or AASP, if it is still covered by AppleCare they will handle it at no charge. If you have been backing up then once the machine comes back restore from backup. I get you are only 16, so I'd explain to  your parents the computer needs to be taken in for service, if they bought it for you they would know if it is covered by AppleCare or not, assuming they originally bought the computer for you.
Good luck.

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