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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    nine-men or nine-man crew

    Nine-men or nine-man crew
    I'm with the second one.


    • Join Date: Mar 2009
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    #2

    Re: nine-men or nine-man crew

    Quote Originally Posted by fuadha View Post
    Nine-men or nine-man crew
    I'm with the second one.
    You're right - an English attributive noun doesn't generally inflect for the plural, even when modified by a nuimber great than one :
    A plan covering five years is a five-year plan, not a five-years plan (but check with a Brit on this)
    A brush for the teeth is a toothbrush, not a teethbrush.
    A tree bearing apples is an apple tree, not an apples tree
    And a noun that is only part of a modifying phrase behaves the same way: a girl who's three years old is a three-year-old girl, not a three-years-old girl. (BTW, the grammatical head of this modifying phrase is "old," not "year.")

  2. konungursvia's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: nine-men or nine-man crew

    I agree completely, though I think we stick more closely to this Teutonic tradition than the Brits. I've seen them pluralize some of these things where we would leave them singular for sure.

  3. Junior Member
    English Teacher
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    #4

    Re: nine-men or nine-man crew

    These are sometimes called noun + noun or nouns as adjectives. Basically,
    it is always singular (no -s). There is an exception with fractions though:

    He received a three-fourths share of the votes.

    Also, it seems the hyphen (-) is used mostly in British English?

    I just wrote an article about this and some other uses of nouns as adjectives for measurements. It can give you a good idea of the differences.

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