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  1. #1
    TheParser is offline VIP Member
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    "He died at 91 years old"

    "He died at 91 years old."

    A professional writer penned that sentence. Of course, this humble soul is nobody to question a professional writer, but

    I feel that the use of "old" is not grammatically justified.

    I tried to Reed-Kellogg this sentence, but I could not find any place where "old" would fit.

    Do you other Reed-Kellogg enthusiasts agree with me?


    THANK YOU

  2. #2
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    Re: "He died at 91 years old"

    I typed

    "died at * years old" site:uk

    in my Google search-box, and the search-engine yielded 468 000 results. All these must be from UK websites.

  3. #3
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    Re: "He died at 91 years old"

    The following was written by a native speaker whose command of English is quite solid:

    1763 Romney entered the Death of General Wolfe for a prize and won 25 guineas and sold the painting that year for a further 25 guineas. His fame began to spread.

    He moved to a larger studio at Charing Cross and shortly after to Covent Garden where many artists lived.

    His daughter Ann died at just 3 years old.

    Biography of George Romney

  4. #4
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    Re: "He died at 91 years old"

    Maybe that's because the word "being" is implied here, as in "at being 91 years old"?

  5. #5
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    Re: "He died at 91 years old"

    Tools are just simplified representations, and can't in my view substitute for real brains evaluating real utterances.

    I think the sentence is far from beautiful, but it's natural enough to be considered normal by a native speaker of AmE.

    To me, it's clear "91 years" represents a duration, a length of time, a span, whereas "91 years old" is a single point on that continuum. Using "at" to locate the deceased on that continuum is just fine.

    "He fell at the 91 meter mark" is a sentence one might say of an unfortunate sprinter.
    "They examined the high water point."

    So I think the word "old" can be situated and explained just fine.

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