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  1. #1
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    Default work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    Hi teachers,

    I've scanned some of the resume writing book at bookstore,I've noticed most of them use "work experience" or "project experience" as the heading,following a list of employment.However,some use "work experiences" just made me so confused. which one is correct or wrong?

    In cover letter,assuming you have experience working for more than 1 employers,should I use
    "I have more than 6 years experience in the textile industry,including two years as phone order representative." ? or
    "I have..... experiences....." ?

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    any one could help?

    Thank you.
    Amigo

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    (1) North American English: work experience
    (2) Note the apostrophe: "6 years' experience in the textile industry, including two years' experience as a phone-order representative."

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    (1) North American English: work experience
    (2) Note the apostrophe: "6 years' experience in the textile industry, including two years' experience as a phone-order representative."
    Is the apostrophe absolutely necessary after "years"? Is it a rule the that the years possess the experience?



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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    Is the apostrophe absolutely necessary after "years"? Is it a rule the that the years possess the experience?
    Abso-aphostrophe-lutely!

    It goes by the term, genitive of measure: For expressions of time and measurement, possession is shown with an apostrophe -s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Merriam-Webster Dictionary of English Usage
    the room's furnishings, the airplane's speed, the building's foundation, one day's leave, a dollar's worth, two dollars' worth, a year's wages, the Eighty Years' War
    You know you're dealing with a genitive of measure if you can (a) replace the apostrophe with the preposition 'of' and (b) rephrase it by using a periphrastic construct:

    (a) six years' experience => six years of experience (replaced)
    (b) six years' experience => experience of six years (rephrased)

    Periphrastic constructs are rather awkward, though, not to mention they seem a tad bit too 'formal' for some speakers, so some speakers tend to use an attributive+noun-like construct, which, on the plus-side of things, makes it easier to read (that is, X of Y becomes a Y's X. Phonetically, A wise X),

    (c) experience of six years => six years' experience (possessive noun)

    but on the downside of things, it turns the measure word (i.e., years) into what appears to be an attributive adjective, and that's probably the reason we see speakers omitting the apostrophe in their writing. The erroneous assumption being that 'years' is an attributive adjective, and since adjectives do not take possessive -'s or -', the apostrophe, then, isn't added, when it should be added:

    (d) six years experience.
    What kind of experience?
    Six years.

    (e) six years' experience.
    What's the measure of experience?
    Six years.

    You know you're dealing with a possessive noun, and not an attributive noun, if you can insert an adjective after the apostrophe:

    six year's experience => six years' typing experience
    Cf. a six year typing experience (Attributive Adjectives)

    In short, in terms of grammar, the noun years' doesn't possess the noun experience: It describes its measure. In terms of writing, the apostrophe is necessary because it carries meaning; it's meaningful:

    My brother has years' experience. (years of)
    My bother has years experience. (years, kind)

    In terms of speech, the apostrophe that lacks phonetic representation, that is, you can't hear it, and if speakers base their writing on what they hear, and not on what they see, or read, the apostrophe won't find its way into their prose:

    years' experience [ji:rz]
    years experience [ji:rz]



    Here's an amusing quote: (I have no idea what 'shibboleths' means, and I am too lazy to look it up. )

    Quote Originally Posted by Kenneth G. Wilson (1923)
    Apostrophes ... missing from where they ought to be are devastating shibboleths in the view of many Standard users, who will penalize the perpetrators mercilessly for them regardless of whether haste, inadvertence, or ignorance caused the outrage against convention. Be warned.
    Source: The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    Thank you,teachers.

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    You're welcome.

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    Okay,

    However, I think "six years" could be seen as a "noun used as an adjective". The "six years" describes the experience. What would you say about that?

    Okay, "noun phrase" - six years

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by X Mode
    Okay,

    However, I think "six years" could be seen as a "noun used as an adjective". The "six years" describes the experience. What would you say about that?

    Okay, "noun phrase" - six years
    Oh, I agree. It's definitely a noun phrase, but it takes an apostrophe when it modifies a measure word:

    six years' experience.
    six years ago
    six years from now
    six years until my contract is up

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    Default Re: work experience / work experiences /single or plural?

    Quote Originally Posted by Casiopea
    Oh, I agree. It's definitely a noun phrase, but it takes an apostrophe when it modifies a measure word:

    six years' experience.
    six years ago
    six years from now
    six years until my contract is up
    Still, you wouldn't say "six years" could be a noun phrase used as an adjective?

    I understand the pattern: "a good night's sleep"

    However, there is something about the apostrophe after "six years" that seems unnecessary to me. mm...... I've checked Google, and it seems to go either way. I guess this is one of those details that I just was not aware of up unitl now. Still, I'm not so sure of that apostrophe and whether it really is necessary.

    one year's experience - If it is spoken, I think it sounds strange. I think "one year of experience" is far more likely.

    Do you get my drift here?

    I understand what you're saying, but I had not been aware of that punctuation detail up unitl now.

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