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    • Join Date: May 2006
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    #1

    Exclamation Time and notice; which is possessive?

    Hi, a problem was posed to me yesterday and I simply cannot put it to rest!
    The phrase "Seven days notice" has me baffled as to its punctuation. At first I thought it correct to follow the basic rule of possessive time, which leaves "days'" as the possessive noun. However I can also see that "day" is not a measure of time; and could be construed as a quantitative descriptor of notice.
    If anyone can help me validate either argument I would very much appreciate your input.
    Many thanks,
    John

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    #2

    Re: Time and notice; which is possessive?

    Hello John

    It's more usual to put the apostrophe after days, in official documents, etc., e.g.

    1. ...ten days' notice...

    = "notice of ten days [in duration]".

    Some might argue that we can treat "ten days" as an attributive noun phrase, and omit the apostrophe:

    2. ...ten days notice...

    But when we use phrases of time attributively, we're more likely to say e.g.

    3. ...a ten-year sentence...

    than

    4. ...a ten years sentence...

    MrP

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