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    #1

    a ten year old girl?

    Mary is a ______ girl.
    (A) ten years old
    (B) ten year old
    (C) ten-years-old
    (D) ten-year-old
    The answer is option D. Is option B also acceptable?

  1. probus's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: a ten year old girl?

    Not only is B acceptable in my opinion, but I prefer B over D. I expect that some of my colleagues will disagree with me, but I think the use of hyphens is tending to fade, at least in AmE.

  2. 5jj's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: a ten year old girl?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Not only is B acceptable in my opinion, but I prefer B over D. I expect that some of my colleagues will disagree with me, but I think the use of hyphens is tending to fade, at least in AmE.
    This speaker of BrE does disagree. For me, only D is acceptable.

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    #4

    Re: a ten year old girl?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Not only is B acceptable in my opinion, but I prefer B over D. I expect that some of my colleagues will disagree with me, but I think the use of hyphens is tending to fade, at least in AmE.

    While I agree with you in this case, I believe there is a time and a place for hyphens.
    I'm not a teacher yet, but I am studying a Bachelor of Education with an English Literature major at Charles Sturt University, in NSW, Australia.

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    #5

    Re: a ten year old girl?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Not only is B acceptable in my opinion, but I prefer B over D. I expect that some of my colleagues will disagree with me, but I think the use of hyphens is tending to fade, at least in AmE.
    I agree that you are more likely to not see the hyphens in the phrase "ten year old" in common writing today. Hyphens should be used when they add clarity, but this is such a common phrase that clarity is not usually impaired by their absence.

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