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  1. #1
    englishhobby's Avatar
    englishhobby is offline Senior Member
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    Default It takes a ten minute's walk

    1. It takes ten minutes to get there.
    2. It's a ten minute's walk from here.

    Can we combine the two structures above and say:

    It takes a ten minute's walk (to get there)?
    If I were a native speaker of English, I would never shut up. :-)

  2. #2
    Chicken Sandwich's Avatar
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    1. It takes ten minutes to get there.
    2. It's a ten minute's walk from here.

    Can we combine the two structures above and say:

    It takes a ten minute's walk (to get there)?
    The second sentence is incorrect. It should be It's ten minutes' walk from here or It's a ten-minute walk from here.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    Quote Originally Posted by englishhobby View Post
    1. It takes ten minutes to get there.
    2. It's a ten minute's walk from here.

    Can we combine the two structures above and say:

    It takes a ten minute's walk (to get there)?
    You first sentence does not specify a walk. Context may do that. Or not. If I told someone that something was ten minutes away, it would be assumed in most cases that we meant by car.

    Your attempt to combine does not really work. One would say "It's a ten minute walk."

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    You can get over the ambiguity of the first sentence by saying "It takes ten minutes to walk there".
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
    konungursvia's Avatar
    konungursvia is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    Quote Originally Posted by Chicken Sandwich View Post
    The second sentence is incorrect. It should be It's ten minutes' walk from here or It's a ten-minute walk from here.
    It looks okay to me, by analogy with Shakspeare's preferred usage. The Winter's Tale. The two hours' traffick of our stage. If you correct the location of the apostrophe.

  6. #6
    5jj's Avatar
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    Quote Originally Posted by konungursvia View Post
    It looks okay to me, by analogy with Shakespeare's preferred usage. The Winter's Tale. The two hours' traffick of our stage.
    I don't think I'd use Shaksper's 1610/11 usage as a model for what passes in 2013 any more than I'd use his 1616 spelling of his own name as a model for the form we should use today.

  7. #7
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    Nobody is trying to be an Elizabethan poet. What it takes is ten minutes. It doesn't take a ten-minute walk. If anyone takes a ten-minute walk they go somewhere on foot for ten minutes. The doer of this can't be an it.

    b

  8. #8
    konungursvia's Avatar
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    I wasn't suggesting we should try to be Elizabethan poets either; but Shakespeare had such an influence on our language that many of his turns of phrase survive today, and since he mentions both Canada and America by name, I'm quite sure AmE has its roots centred in his era.

    Whoops. I was saying 2 is correct, and intended to quote a member who said 2 is wrong. The suggested amalgam of 1. and 2. is certainly wrong.

    Continuing my thoughts on 2, we can find other grammarians saying it's not wrong:

    It's about a 3-minutes' walk. - Topic

    Aspects of Modern English Usage - Paul Lambotte - Google Books

    Sorry if I caused any confusion.

  9. #9
    BobK's Avatar
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    When CS said 2 was wrong, I think (and assumed when I read it) he was talking about the position of the apostrophe (which is precisely as Lambotte says it is).

    b

  10. #10
    Rover_KE is online now Moderator
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    Default Re: It takes a ten minute's walk

    Don't forget that a ten-minute walk is a useless way of describing a distance, unless you know how fast your reader can walk.

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