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  1. #1
    Anonymous Guest

    Default Five hour or five hours drive

    Dear English Gurus,
    Is it hour or hours ? (See examples below)

    Los Angeles is a good five hour / five hours drive from here.

    We are going for a five hour/five hours drive to the country tomorrow.

    Do we need a hyphen between five and hour(s) ?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    RonBee's Avatar
    RonBee is offline Moderator
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    The usual expression is a five hour drive.

    :)

  3. #3
    sara williams Guest

    Default Re: Five hour or five hours drive

    Quote Originally Posted by driver
    Dear English Gurus,
    Is it hour or hours ? (See examples below)

    Los Angeles is a good five hour / five hours drive from here.

    We are going for a five hour/five hours drive to the country tomorrow.

    Do we need a hyphen between five and hour(s) ?

    Thanks.
    First of all, you have to decide whether the noun is countable or uncountable.

    If the noun is uncountable, you write duration in the following way:

    Three hours' work (work is an uncountable noun).

    If the noun (drive) is countable, as it is in your example, you write it in the following way:

    A five-hour drive.

    You do indeed put a hyphen between "five" and "drive", because they now act like an adjective. They describe the drive. What kind of a drive is it?
    It's a five-hour drive.

    It's the same principle as a red-haired boy.

    You would NOT write "a five-hourS drive", because in English there is no plural form of adjectives.

  4. #4
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Five-hour drive does seem to be used more often than five hour drive, but not by an exceedingly wide margin. (Five-hour drive seems to be used about 60% of the time.)

    A Google search for five hour drive turns up both phrases. Go to: http://ms101.mysearch.com/jsp/GGmain...+hour+drive%22

    Descriptively,

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Five hour or five hours drive

    I think you could use both with 'drive', at least in BE:

    It's a five-hour drive
    It's five hours' drive


  6. #6
    RonBee's Avatar
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    Default Re: Five hour or five hours drive

    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I think you could use both with 'drive', at least in BE:

    It's a five-hour drive
    It's five hours' drive

    But would you say "It's a five hours drive"?

    :wink:

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    I wouldn't. I know anything seems possible in BE nowadays, but that doesn't seem like a likely utterance to me.

  8. #8
    sara williams Guest

    Default Re: Five hour or five hours drive

    Quote Originally Posted by RonBee
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    I think you could use both with 'drive', at least in BE:

    It's a five-hour drive
    It's five hours' drive

    But would you say "It's a five hours drive"?

    :wink:
    No! No! You would not say a five hours drive!!!! In spoken English, maybe, but to be written correctly it must be a five-hour drive (or five hours' drive). May I also add that the internet is not a reliable grammar reference! There are all sorts writing any old thing on the internet but it doesn't mean it's correct!!

    May I suggest English Grammar in Use by Raymond Murphy (units 79 & 80) instead of the internet?

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