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Can we use an indefinite article referring it to the head-noun modified by a plural noun in the genitive case considering the latter as a descriptive attribute?e.g.
a soldiers' canteen, a girls' school, a three miles' walk, a fifteen minutes' break, etc. ?
Could you recommend me a trustworthy grammar reference where I would find some information about the use of articles with countable nouns modified by nouns in the genetive case?
a two miles’ distance
a three miles' walk
a fifteen minutes' break
Is there anything wrong in the following explanation of the constructions above?
1. The -'s genitive is possible with certain nouns denoting time, distance and measure.
2. It is possible to use plural nouns with the -'s genitive.
3. The noun in the genitive case may be used as a classifying (descriptive) attribute before a noun.
4. A noun modified with a classifying (descriptive) attribute should be used with an indefinite article
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Thank you indeed for your advising me the Grammar references. They are really useful. Having readQuirk et al (1985),A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language, London: UOP, pages 321-331I found out a mistake in my explanation of indefinite articles in the phrasesa three days’ absence, a two miles’ distance, a three miles' walk,a fifteen minutes' break etc., for I claimed the genitive of those phrases to be a descriptive one, but it turned out to be a genitive of measure, thus not giving us a good reason forreferringan indefinite articleto the head-noun modified by a plural noun in the genitive case. But if it were a descriptive genitive, I believe things would be different.