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    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    minute or minutes

    Can someone please tell me why we say "the 20 minute trip" (minute in singular form) and the trip takes 20 minutes (minutes in plural) Is it because there is a definite article present Thank you.

  1. Junior Member
    English Teacher

    • Join Date: Dec 2009
    • Posts: 41
    #2

    Re: minute or minutes

    Quote Originally Posted by NormandyRosa View Post
    Can someone please tell me why we say "the 20 minute trip" (minute in singular form) and the trip takes 20 minutes (minutes in plural) Is it because there is a definite article present Thank you.
    Hi

    In the phrase "the 20-minute trip", "20-minute" is used as an adjective. As you know, adjectives are not plural in English, so "the 20-minutes trip" would be incorrect. (As you'll have noticed, I used a hyphen to connect 20 and minute. This is not necessary, but it's very common. I also find that it helps to remind one that this is an adjective and therefore the plural form of the noun is wrong.)

    In the second example, "20" functions as the adjective and "minutes" is a noun. Because 20 is clearly plural, "minutes" is correct.

    I hope this helps.

  2. nada salman's Avatar

    • Join Date: Oct 2009
    • Posts: 32
    #3

    Re: minute or minutes

    Quote Originally Posted by crclee View Post
    Hi

    In the phrase "the 20-minute trip", "20-minute" is used as an adjective. As you know, adjectives are not plural in English, so "the 20-minutes trip" would be incorrect. (As you'll have noticed, I used a hyphen to connect 20 and minute. This is not necessary, but it's very common. I also find that it helps to remind one that this is an adjective and therefore the plural form of the noun is wrong.)

    In the second example, "20" functions as the adjective and "minutes" is a noun. Because 20 is clearly plural, "minutes" is correct.

    I hope this helps.
    good job and these adjectives are called compound adjectives you can read about them more

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